u< OU_1 64550 >m
Preface ... ... ... *
Introductory ... ... ... 5
Humanity ... ... 17
Divine Lila (Play) ... ... 21
Aim and Object of Yoga ... ... 24
Past Yogas and the Integral Yoga ... 32
Avatarhood (Manifestation) ... ... 45
Sri Aurobindo on Himself ... ... 50
Sri Aurobindo on the Mother ... 61
Process of Sadhana ... ... 66
Sadhak's Attitude ... ... ... 83
Aids in Sadhana :-
Aspiration ... ... .... 102
Equanimity ... ... ... 103
Faith ... ... ... 107
Guru ... ... ... no
Meditation ... ... ... in
Peace ... ... ... 119
Personal Effort ... ... ... 123
Psychic Being ... ... ... 124
Silence ... ... ... 127
Sincerity ... ... ... 128
Surrender ... ... ... 130
Work ... ... ... 136
Obstacles in Sadhana :-
Attachment ... ... ... 146
Desire ... ... ... 147
Despondency ... ... ... 149
Difficulties, Disturbances ... ... 150
Ego, Vanity, Pride ... ... 158
Fear ... ... ... 165
Food ... ... ... 166
Hostile Forces ... ... ... 171
Human Nature or Prakriti ... 174
Mind ... ... ... 181
Relationship ... ... ... 187
Sex ... ... ... 188
Speech ... ... ... 190
Vital ... ... ... 195
Art ... ... ... 203
Ashram Life ... ... ... 204
Beauty ... ... ... 207
Consciousness ... ... ... 209
A PRACTICAL GUIDE
(Extracts compiled from the writings of
Sri Aurobindo and The M.other)
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM
All Rights Reserved
First Published... June, 1955
Second Edition... June, 1958
Third Edition... June, 1959
SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM PRESS
PRINTED IN INDIA
I DEDICATE TO THE LOTUS FEET
OF THE DIVINE MOTHER,
THE SOLE MASTER OF MY BEING
To start with, it is important to know what we as
human beings are and what our life is.
Under the Divine Wisdom^ the earth has evolved from
matter to plant life and then to animal life. Evolution
from animal to man is not the final stage. Humanity is
under the sway of dark and ignorant forces and that is
the reason for human sufferings, disease and death all
the signs of imperfection. It is clear that man has to progress
towards a Light which brings knowledge, power, huppiness,
love, beauty and even physical immortality. The Divine
is the essence of the whole universe and to realise and possess
Him should be the supreme aim of human life. To acquire
all the qualities of the Divine is the final purpose of
Mere ideas and ideals, mere talk about God and the
Good cannot help. Nor can performance of religious rites
really help. A firm resolution should spring from one's
heart to realise the Divine, and nothing else should matter.
Emotional enthusiasm does not by itself go very far. One
must be ready to pass through the hard ordeals of the spiritual
path. One cannot persist to the end unless one keeps the will
firm and draws on the support of an inner strength.
The soul progresses by gathering experiences in the ordinary
life but it is a very long> slow and devious process from
birth to birth. Yoga hastens the soul's development. The
2 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
progress that can be made in many lives is made in a few
years by the help of Yoga.
Just as modern science has advanced greatly over past
researches and brought new truths and powers, the Yoga of
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother has also made a momentous
advancement over all past Yogas. It is called the "Integral
Yoga" or the "Supramental Yoga".
Where the past Yogas end, this new Integral Yoga starts.
The Yogas* of the past were only of ascent to the Spirit,
Sri Aurobindo's Yoga is both of ascent and descent. One
can realise the Divine in consciousness by the old Yogas
but cannot establish the Divine on earth in a collective no
less than in an individual physical life. In the old Yogas
the world was considered either an illusion or a transitional
phase : it had no prospect of having all the terms of its exis-
tence fulfilled. Sri Aurobindo says that the world is a real
creation of the Divine and life in it can be completely
divinised,, down to the very cells of the body. A Kingdom
of God on earth can be brought about in the most literal
sense by a total transformation of collective men.
To put it in Sri Aurobindo's words : "Here and not else-
where the highest Godhead has to be found., the soul's divine
nature developed out of the imperfect physical human
nature and through unity with God and man and universe
the whole large truth of being discovered and lived and
made visibly wonderful. That completes the long cycle
of our becoming and admits us to a supreme result; that is
the opportunity given to the soul by the human birth
and, until that is accomplished, it cannot cease."
For this transformation a new power called the "Super-
mind" which was sealed to this earth till now is needed.
By its manifestation in earth-nature a supreme evolution
is made possible.
The Mother has declared recently that at last the Super-
mind has manifested. It is now only a question of time to
have its increasing effect in world-life. This new Light
will work everywhere in general but it will be more effective
in those who come into direct contact with the Masters of
this Yoga and take up the Yogic life in earnest.
More and more people, in India as well as abroad, are
drawn towards Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and are
anxious to know their teachings. A need is felt to collect
these teachings in a single book which would combine brevity
with many-sidedness and serve as an introduction to the new
path. We hope the present collection will prove helpful to
all sincere aspirants.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
4 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It matters not if there are hundreds of beings plunged
in the densest ignorance. He [Sri Aurobindo] whom we
saw yesterday is on earth: His presence is enough to prove
that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed
into light, when Thy reign shall be indeed established
Since the beginning of the earth, wherever and
whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray
of the Consciousness, I was there.
Without him, I exist not;
Without me, he is unmanifest.
6-5-57 THE MOTHER
The ascent to the divine Life is the human
journey, the Work of works, the acceptable Sacri-
fice. This alone is man's real business in the
world and the justification of his existence, without
which he would be only an insect crawling among
other ephemeral insects on a speck of surface mud
and water which has managed to form itself
amid the appalling immensities of the physical
Whoever clings to desires and weaknesses of the
flesh, the cravings and passions of the vital in its
turbulent ignorance, the dictates of his personal
mind unsilenced and unillumined by a greater
knowledge, cannot find the true inner law and
is heaping obstacles in the way of the divine
fulfilment. Whoever is able to detect and re-
nounce those obscuring agencies and to discern
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
and follow the true Guide within and without will
discover the spiritual law and reach the goal of
The Divine Life and the transformation of the
lower human into a higher divine nature must be
made the sole aim of all the life. No attach-
ment, desire or habit of the mind, heart, vital-
being or body should be clung to which come in
the way of this one aspiration and one object of
life. One must be ready to renounce all these
completely as soon as the demand comes from
above and the Divine Shakti.
First, the consciousness must be transformed,
then life, then the forms. It is in this order that
the new creation will happen. All Nature's acti-
vity is, in fact, a progressive return towards the
Supreme Reality which is at once the origin and
the goal of the universe, in its totality as well as
in its smallest element ; we have to become con-
cretely what we are essentially. We must live
integrally the truth, the beauty, the power and the
perfection hidden in the depth of our being. It is
then that all life will become the expression of
the sublime, eternal, divine Joy.
Some give their soul to the Divine, some their
life, some offer their work, some their money. A
few consecrate all of themselves and all they
have soul, life, work, wealth ; these are the
true children of God. Others give nothing these,
whatever their position, power and riches, are for
the Divine purpose valueless cyphers.
The Adverse Powers are the forces and beings
that are interested in maintaining the falsehoods
they have created in the world of the Ignorance
and in putting them forward as the Truth which
men must follow. In India they are termed Asuras,
Rakshasas, Pishachas who are in opposition to the
Gods, the Powers of Light. These too are Powers,
for they too have their cosmic field in which
they exercise their function and authority and
some of them were once divine Powers who have
fallen towards the darkness by revolt against the
divine Will behind the cosmos.
8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
As for the Mother and myself, we have had
to try all the ways, follow all methods, to sur-
mount mountains of difficulties, a far heavier
burden to bear than you or anybody else in the
Ashram or outside, far more difficult conditions,
battles to fight, wounds to endure, ways to cleave
through impenetrable morass and desert and
forest, hostile masses to conquer a work such as,
I am certain, none else had to do before us.
For the leader of the way in a work like ours has
not only to bring down or represent and embody
the Divine, but to represent too the ascending
element in humanity and to bear the burden of
humanity to the full and experience, not in a mere
play or Lila but in grim earnest, all the obstruction,
difficulty, opposition, baffled, hampered and only
slowly victorious labour which are possible on
the path.... It is because we have the complete
experience that we can show a straighter and
easier road to others if they will only consent
to take it. It is because of our experience won
at a tremendous price that we can urge it upon you
THE LAST DECISIVE BATTLE
(Between the Asuric and the Divine Forces
I foresee that the coming year will be a difficult
year. There will be much inner struggle and much
outer struggle too. So I shall tell you of the atti-
tude you should take in such circumstances.
Indeed the more things become difficult, the
quieter you should remain, the more unshakable
the faith you should have.
When difficulties come, human beings usually
get agitated, excited, nervous and so make the
difficulties hundredfold more difficult.
The difficulties may last perhaps more than the
twelve months of the year, may extend to fourteen
months. It is in the nature of things. The nature
of the struggle determines the measure of its
duration. The forces must come up to a certain
pitch of activity to produce a certain result.
We make use of time in the measure of our small
human duration. But naturally Divine Forces have
not the same measure as we have and that may
appear to us too long or too uncertain. For the
Divine, however, that is the shortest way, in spite
of everything, to the goal aimed at. The goal is
the fulfilment of the Divine Will, whatever it is.
Given the circumstances, the Divine always
IO A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
takes the shortest way, although that may seem to
us the longest, or tortuous and uncertain. Be-
cause we do not see the whole, we see just a
little fragment which is according to our pro-
portions. Our vision is narrow, narrow with
regard to what is behind, narrow with regard to
what is ahead. Man's vision is limited ; he can-
not see very much beyond his nose. Human
vision is linear, that is to say, things present
themselves to it one after another in a line.
Divine vision is different ; it is total, it is global :
it looks at the problem integrally, that is to say,
from all sides, in the round, not from one side
or at one point ; the supreme vision takes in all
sides and aspects at a glance, not only on the sur-
face, but in the depth too. It embraces all the
elements of the question and resolves the ques-
tion without neglecting any of the points involved
in it. Man, on the contrary, follows a straight
line ; anything that is not on the straight line
escapes his notice, and if it were left to his choice,
these other things would not get done. The
Divine's way is circular and yet it is the most
The adverse forces have always tried to push
back the divine Realisation as much as possible,
to maintain their hold upon the world as long as
possible. That struggle seems now to have come
to a head at last. It is their final chance. These
forces are not blind or ignorant forces merely,
there are conscious beings behind them and they
know that it is their last chance; therefore they
are putting forth all their will and strength as
much as they can and what they can is very
great. They are not at all like human beings with
their small consciousness and smaller power to
which they appear formidable and even as divine
forces, not only in the measure of their power, but
in their consciousness too. They are engaged in
a tremendous battle upon this earth ; for it is upon
this earth that the victory has to be won, the
victory that will decide the course of earth's
Those whose heart leaps up, who hold their
head high just when things become specially dan-
gerous, will have their full satisfaction. It is now
the occasion to surmount oneself.
31-12-1954 THE MOTHER
12 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Lord has willed and Thou dost execute :
A new light shall break upon the earth,
A new world shall be born,
And the things that were promised shall be fulfilled.
25th September, 1914 THE MOTHER
Lord, Thou hast willed, and I execute :
A new light breaks upon the earth,
A new world is born.
The things that were promised are fulfilled.
29th February, 1956 THE MOTHER
The manifestation of the Supramental upon
-earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a
It is at work here, and one day will come when
the most blind, the most unconscious, even the
most unwilling shall be obliged to recognise it.
24th April, 1956 THE MOTHER
Open yourself to the new Light that has dawned
upon earth and a luminous path will spread in
front of you.
28th May, 1956 THE MOTHER
THREE CONCEPTIONS OF THE WORLD
i. Buddhist and Shankara :
The world is an illusion, a field of ignorance
and suffering due to ignorance. The one thing
to do is to get out of it as soon as possible and to
disappear into the original Non-Existence or
2. The Vedantic as very commonly
The world is essentially divine, for the divine is
omnipresent there. But its exterior expression is
distorted, obscure, ignorant, perverted. The
one thing to do is to become conscious of the
inner divine and remain fixed in that consciousness
14 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
without troubling about the world; for this ex-
ternal world cannot change and will always be in
its natural state of unconsciousness and ignorance.
3. Sri Aurobindo's View :
The world, as it is, is not the divine creation it is
meant to be, but an obscure and perverted ex-
pression of it. It is not the expression of the divine
consciousness and will, but this is what it is meant
to become; it has been created to develop into a
perfect manifestation of the Divine under all
His forms and aspects Light and Knowledge,
Power, Love and Beauty.
This is our conception of it and the aim we
24-2-1936 THE MOTHER
TO THE CHILDREN OF THE ASHRAM
THERE is an ascending evolution in nature
which goes from the stone to the plant, from
the plant to the animal, from the animal to
man. Because man is, for the moment, the last
rung at the summit of the ascending evolution,
he considers himself as the final stage in this
ascension and believes there can be nothing
on earth superior to him. In that he is mis-
taken. In his physical nature he is yet almost
wholly an animal, a thinking and speaking ani-
mal, but still an animal in his material habits
and instincts. Undoubtedly, nature cannot be
satisfied with such an imperfect result ; she
endeavours to bring out a being who will be
to man what man is to the animal, a being who
will remain a man in its external form, and yet
whose consciousness will rise far above the
mental and its slavery to ignorance.
Sri Aurobindo came upon earth to teach this
truth to men. He told them that man is only a
transitional being living in a mental conscious-
ness, but with the possibility of acquiring a
new consciousness, the Truth-consciousness, and
capable of living a life perfectly harmonious,
good and beautiful, happy and fully conscious.
During the whole -of his life upon earth, Sri
Aurobindo gave all his time to establish in
himself this consciousness he called supramental,
.and to help those gathered around him to realise
You have the immense privilege of having
come quite young to the Ashram, that is to say,
still plastic and capable of being moulded
.according to this new ideal and thus becoming the
16 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
representatives of the new race. Here, in the
Ashram, you are in the most favourable condi-
tions with regard to the environment, the
influence, the teaching and the example, to awaken
in yourselves this supramental consciousness
and to grow according to its law.
Now, all depends on your will and your sin-
cerity. If you have the will no more to belong to
ordinary humanity, no more to be merely evolved
animals ; if your will is to become men of the new
race realising Sri Aurobindo's supramental ideal,
living a new and higher life upon a new earth, you
will find here all the necessary help to achieve
your purpose ; you will profit fully by your stay
in the Ashram and eventually become living
examples for the world.
24-7-1951 THE MOTHER
Its Present Condition and Need
THE whole aim of the material man is to live, to pass
from birth to death with as much comfort or enjoyment
as may be on the way, but anyhow to live.... The cus-
tomary routine, the customary institutions, the inherited
or habitual forms of thought, these things are the
life-breath of their nostrils.... To the material man
the living progressive thinker is an ideologue, dreamer
The surfaces of life are easy to understand ; their
laws, characteristic movements, practical utilities are
ready to our hand and we can seize on them and turn
them to account with a sufficient facility and rapidity.
But they do not carry us very far. They suffice for
an active superficial life from day to day, but they do
not solve the great problems of existence.
The word civilisation so used comes to have a merely
relative significance or hardly any fixed sense at all.
1 8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
We must therefore get rid in it of all that is temporary
or accidental and fix it upon this distinction that bar-
barism is the state of society in which man is almost
entirely preoccupied with his life and body, his eco-
nomic and physical existence.... It is obvious that in a
state of barbarism the rude beginnings of civilisation
may exist ; it is obvious too that in a civilised society a
great mass of barbarism or numerous relics of it may
exist. In that sense all societies are semi-civilised.
Man is an abnormal who has not found his own
normality, he may imagine he has, he may appear to
be normal in his own kind, but that normality is only a
sort of provisional order ; therefore, though^ man is
infinitely greater than the plant or the animal, lie is not
perfect in his own nature like the plant and the animal.
This imperfection is not a thing to be at all deplored,
but rather a previlege and a promise, for it opens out
to us an immense vista of self-development and
The Divine is infinite and immortal being; the
human is life limited in time and scope and form, life
that is death attempting to become life that is immortality.
In subhuman life of animal there is a vital and phy-
sical struggle, but no mental conflict. Man is subject
to this mental conflict and is therefore at war not only
with others but with himself; and because he is capable
of this war with himself, he is also capable of that which
is denied to the animal, of an inner evolution, a progres-
sion from higher to higher type, a constant self-
The true business of man upon earth is to express
in the type of humanity a growing image of the Divine ;
whether knowingly or unknowingly, it is to this end
that Nature is working in him under the thick veil of
her inner and outer processes. But the material or
animal man is ignorant of the inner aim of life ; he knows
only its needs and its desires and he has necessarily no
other guide to what is required of him than his own
perception of need and his own stirrings and pointings
The Self of man is a thing hidden and occult ; it is
not his body, it is not his life, it is not even though
he is in the scale of evolution the mental being, the
Manu, his mind. Therefore neither the fullness of
his physical, nor of his vital, nor of his mental nature
2O A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
can be either the last term or the true standard of his
We miss the divine reality in man and the secret of
the human birth if we do not see that each individual
man is that Self and sums up all human potentiality
in his own being. That potentiality he has to find,
develop, work out from within.
The knowledge of God is not to be gained by weighing
the feeble arguments of reason for or against his exis-
tence ; it is to be gained only by a self-transcending and
absolute consecration, aspiration and experience. Nor
does that experience proceed by anything like rational
scientific experiment or rational philosophic thinking.
Man's road to spiritual supermanhood will be open
when he declares boldly that all he has yet developed,
including the intellect of which he is so rightly and
yet so vainly proud, are now no longer sufficient for
him, and that to uncase, discover, set free this greater
Light within shall be henceforward his pervading
DIVINE LILA (Play)
WE play at being bound, we are not really bound. We
can be free when God wills; for He, our Supreme
Self, is the master of the game, and without His Grace
and permission no soul can leave the game.
The command is now. God always keeps for him-
self a chosen country in which the higher knowledge
is through all chances and dangers, by the few or the
many, continually preserved, and for the present, in
this chaturyuga at least, that country is India. Whenever
He chooses to take the full pleasure of ignorance, of
the dualities, of strife and wrath and tears and weak-
ness and selfishness, the tamasic and rajasic pleasures,
of the play of the Kali in short, He dims the knowledge
in India and puts her down into weakness and degra-
dation so that she may retire into herself and not inter-
fere with this movement of His lila. When he wants
to rise up from the mud and Narayana in man to become
once again mighty and wise and blissful, then He once
more pours out the knowledge on India and raises
her up so that she may give the knowledge with its
necessary consequences of might, wisdom and bliss
to the whole world. When there is the contracted
movement of knowledge, the Yogins in India with-
draw from the world and practise Yoga for their own
liberation and delight or for the liberation of a few
22 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
disciples ; but when the movement of knowledge again
expands and the soul of India expands with it, they
come forth once more and work in the world and for
the world. Yogins like Janaka, Ajatshatru and Karta-
virya once more sit on the thrones of the world and
govern the nations.
God's lila in man moves always in a circle, from
Satyayuga to Kaliyuga and through Kaliyuga to the
Satyayuga, from the age of gold to the age of iron and
back again through the iron to the gold.... But the Kali-
yuga is not merely evil; in it the necessary conditions
are progressively built up for a new Satyayuga, another
harmony, a more advanced perfection.
It is only India that can discover the harmony, because
it is only by a change not a mere readjustment of
man's present nature that it can be developed, and such
a change is not possible except by Yoga. The nature
of man and of things is at present a discord, a harmony
that has gone out of tune. The whole heart and action
and mind of man must be changed, but from within,
not from without, not by political and social institutions,
not even by creeds and philosophies, but by realisation
of God in ourselves and the world and a remoulding of
life by that realisation. This can only be effected by
Purna-Yoga, a Yoga devoted to the fulfilment of the divine
humanity in ourselves and others.
For this Puma-Yoga, the surrender must be complete.
Nothing must be reserved, no desire, no demand, no
opinion, no idea that this must be, that cannot be, that
DIVINE LILA (PLAY) 23
this should be and that should not be; all must be
To those who demand from Him, God gives what they
demand, but to those who give themselves and demand
nothing^ He gives everything that they might otherwise
have asked or needed and in addition He gives Himself
and the spontaneous boons of His love.
You must put aside what you want and wish to know
what God wants; distrust what your heart, your passions
or your habitual opinions prefer to hold as right and
necessary..., The power that governs the world is at least
as wise as you and it is not absolutely necessary that you
should be consulted or indulged in its management;
God is seeing to it..
An almighty love and wisdom are at work for your
uplifting. Therefore never be troubled by the time
that is being taken, even if it seems very long, but when
imperfections and obstructions arise, be apramatta y
dhira, have the utsaha, and leave God to do the rest.
Time is necessary. It is a tremendous work that is being
done in you, the alteration of your whole human nature
into a divine nature, the crowding of centuries of evolu-
tion into a few years. You ought not to grudge the time.
The goal marked out for us and the call upon us is to
grow into the image of God, to dwell in Him and with
Him and be a channel of His joy and might and an instru-
ment of His works. Purified from all that is ashubha y
transfigured in soul by His touch we have to act in the
world as dynamos of that divine electricity and send it
24 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
thrilling and radiating through mankind, so" that wher-
ever one of us stands, hundreds around may become
full of His light and force, full of God and full of ananda.
Churches, orders, theologies, philosophies have failed
to save mankind because they have busied themselves
with intellectual creeds, dogmas, rights and institutions,
with achara, shuddhi and darshana, as if these could save
mankind, and have neglected the one thing needful, the
power and purification of the soul.
The reason for which the Avatars descend is to raise
up man again and again, developing in him a higher and
ever higher humanity, a greater and yet greater develop-
ment of divine being, bringing more and more of heaven
again and again upon the earth until our toil is done, our
work accomplished and Sachchidananda fulfilled in
all even here, even in this material universe.
AIM AND OBJECT OF YOGA
THE aim of our Yoga is to open the consciousness to the
Divine and to live in the inner consciousness more and
more while acting from it on the external life, to bring the
inmost psychic into the front and by the power of the
psychic to purify and change the being so that it may
become ready for transformation and in union with the
Divine Knowledge, Will and Love. Secondly, to develop
the Yogic consciousness, i.e., to universalise the being in
AIM AND OBJECT OF YOGA 25
all the planes, become aware of the cosmic being and
cosmic forces and be in union with the Divine on all the
planes up to the Overmind. Thirdly, to come into contact
with the transcendent Divine beyond the Overmind
through the supramental consciousness, supramentalise
the consciousness and the nature and make oneself an
instrument for the realisation of the dynamic Divine
Truth and its transforming descent into the earth-nature.
The object of our Yoga is to bring down the supra-
mental consciousness on earth, to fix it there, to create
a new race with the principle of the supramental con-
sciousness governing the inner and outer individual and
This Yoga does not mean the rejection of the powers
of life, but an inner transformation and a change of the
spirit in the life and the use of the powers. These powers
are now used in an egoistic spirit and for undivine ends;
they have to be used in a spirit of surrender to the Divine
and for the purpose of the divine Work.
The whole principle of this Yoga is to give oneself
entirely to the Divine alone and to nobody and nothing
else, and to bring down into ourselves by union with the
Divine Mother all the transcendent light, power, wideness,
26 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
peace, purity, truth-consciousness and Ananda of the
The Divine gives itself to those who give themselves
without reserve and in all their parts to the Divine. For
them the calm, the light, the power, the bliss, the freedom,
the wideness, the heights of knowledge, the seas of
Man is shut up at present in his surface individual
consciousness and knows the world only through his
outward mind and senses and by interpreting their
contacts with the world. By Yoga there can open in
him a consciousness which becomes one with that of
of the world; he becomes directly aware of a universal
Being, universal states, universal Force and Power,
universal Mind, Life, Matter and lives in conscious
relations with these things. He is then said to have
It is the aim of the sadhana that the consciousness
should rise out of the body and take its station above,
spreading in wideness everywhere, not limited to the
AIM AND OBJECT OF YOGA 2J
To be a Yogi, a Sannyasi, a Tapaswi is not the object
here. The object is transformation, and the transformation
can only be done by a force infinitely greater than your
own; it can only be done by being truly like a child in
the hands of the Divine Mother.
The object of our Yoga is to enter into and be possessed
by the Divine Presence and Consciousness, to love the
Divine for the Divine's sake alone, to be tuned in our
nature into the nature of the Divine, and in our will and
works and life to be the instrument of the Divine. The
Divine alone is our object.
Spirit is the crown of universal existence; Matter is its
basis; Mind is the link between the two. Spirit is that
which is eternal; Mind and Matter are its workings.
Spirit is that which is concealed and has to be revealed;
mind and body are the means by which it seeks to reveal
itself. Spirit is the image of the Lord of the Yoga; mind
and body are the means He has provided for reproducing
that image in phenomenal existence. All Nature is an
attempt at a progressive revelation of the concealed
Truth, a more and more successful reproduction of the
But what Nature aims at for the mass in a slow evolu-
tion, Yoga effects for the individual by a rapid revolution.
It works by a quickening of all her energies, a sublima-
28 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tion of all her faculties.... Nature seeks the divine in her
own symbols: Yoga goes beyond Nature to the Lord
of Nature, beyond universe to the Transcendent and
can return with the transcendent light and power, with
the fiat of the Omnipotent.
Here the soul lives in a material universe; of that alone
it is immediately conscious; the realisation of its poten-
tialities in that are the problem with which it is concerned.
But matter means the involution of the conscious delight
of existence in self-oblivious force and in a self-dividing,
infinitesimally disaggregated form of substance. There-
fore the whole principle and effort of a material world
must be the evolution of what is involved and the deve-
lopment of what is undeveloped. Here everything is
shut up from the first in the violently working incon-
scient sleep of material force; therefore the whole aim of
any material becoming must be the waking of conscious-
ness out of the inconscient; the whole consummation of
a material becoming must be the removal of the veil of
matter and the luminous revelation of the entirely self-
conscient Being to its own imprisoned soul in the be-
coming. Since Man is such an imprisoned soul, this
luminous liberation and coming to self-knowledge
must be his highest object and the condition of his
The gnostic perfection, spiritual in its nature, is to
be accomplished here in the body and takes life in
AIM AND OBJECT OF YOGA 29
the physical world as one of its fields, even though
the gnosis opens to us possession of planes and worlds
beyond the material universe. The physical body is
therefore a basis of action, pratistha, which cannot be
despised, neglected or excluded from the spiritual evolu-
tion: a perfection of the body as the outer instrument of
a complete divine living on earth will be necessarily a
part of the gnostic conversion.
The general aim to be attained is the advent of a pro-
gressing universal harmony, and individualise the states
of being that were never till now conscious in man and,
by that, to put the earth in connection with one or more
of the fountains of universal force that are still sealed to
The only way to become a conscious being, to be one-
self, is to unite with the divine Self that is in all. For that,
we must, by the aid of concentration, isolate ourselves
from external influences. When you are one with the
Divinity within, you are one with all things in their depths.
Living among others you should always be a divine
example, an occasion offered to them to understand and
to enter on the path of the life divine. Nothing more.
You should not even have the desire to make them pro-
gress; for that too would be something arbitrary.
30 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It is an invaluable possession for every living being
to have learnt to know himself and to master himself,
To know oneself means to know the motives of one's
actions and reactions, the why and the how of all that
happens in oneself. To master oneself means to do what
one has decided to do, to do nothing but that, not to listen
to or follow impulses, desires or fancies.
The whole world is in a process of progressive trans-
formation; if you take up the discipline of Yoga, you speed
up in yourself this process. The work that would require
years in the ordinary course, can be done by Yoga in a
few days and even in a few hours.
Our goal is not to lose oneself in the Divine Conscious-
ness. The goal is to let the Divine Consciousness
penetrate into Matter and transform it.
Ours is neither a political nor a social but a spiritual
goal. What we want is a transformation of the individual
consciousness, not a change of regime or government.
For reaching that goal we put no confidence in any human
means, however powerful, our trust is in the Divine
AIM AND OBJECT OF YOGA 31
The eternal Veda is the Truth that dwells within the
heart of every being; it can express itself spontaneously
either in words or as a luminous will.
If one is to prepare for Yoga by the study of books,
this preparation would take rather long. But it goes
much quicker when one receives directly a teaching
which is at one's disposal in all circumstances....
Indeed they who are predestined receive the help of
the inner Guide. At the right moment they come across
the book they should read or the person who can give
them the right indication....
It goes without saying that it is easier for those who
are here in India. India maintains her living tradition.
An aspirant for Yoga will always find someone who can
give him the teaching. Even the most ignorant and the
most uncultured possess in them a vague feeling of what
is to be done or what can help. But if you transplant
yourself to the West, you will see how difficult it is....
Now the situation is somewhat better, there has been
some progress, the light has spread a little every-
Note this particularly, you are given a full freedom of
choice; if you decide within yourself that you will reach
the goal in this life, you will do so in that case you
can succeed even in twelve months....
It is no reason, however, to lose your time on the way;
it is no reason why you should follow all the meanderings
of the labyrinth and arrive at the goal, decreased by
all that you have lost, spent, wasted on the way. But
32 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
in any case it is a reason why you should never despair
whatever the obstacles and difficulties.
When you have something to do, it is better to do it
as quickly as possible, that is my opinion. But there A are
people who like to lose their time. Perhaps they need
turning round and round, falling back, going about in
circuitous ways before they arrive where they should
arrive. Unfortunately it is exactly people who have this
habit of loitering, wandering away from the straight
line, that most complain of the way being long; they
lament, but they themselves are the artisans of their
own misery. But to each his choice.
What cannot be acquired or conquered during life
can certainly not be done after death. The physical life
is the true field for progress and realisation.
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA
THE way of Yoga followed here has a different purpose
from others, for its aim is not only to rise out of the
ordinary ignorant world-consciousness into the divine
consciousness, but to bring the supramental power of
that divine consciousness down into the ignorance of
mind, life and body, to transform them, to manifest the
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 33
Divine here and create a divine life in Matter. This is an
exceedingly difficult aim and difficult Yoga; to many or
most it will seem impossible. All the established forces
of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness are opposed
to it and deny it and try to prevent it, and the Sadhak
will find his own mind, life and body full of the most
obstinate impediments to its realisation. If you can
accept the ideal whole-heartedly, face all difficulties, leave
the past and its ties behind you and are ready to give
up everything and risk everything for this divine possi-
bility, then only can you hope to discover by experience
the Truth behind it.
Asceticism for its own sake is not the ideal of this Yoga,
but self-control in the vital and right order in the material
are a very important part of it and even an ascetic
discipline is better for our purpose than a loose absence
of true control. Mastery of the material implies in it the
right and careful utilisation of things and also a self-control
in their use.
Forceful suppression (fasting also comes under the
head) stands on the same level as free indulgence; in
both cases, the desire remains: in the one it is fed by
indulgence, in the other it lies latent and exasperated by
34 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Those who seek the Self by the old Yogas separate
themselves from mind, life and body and realise the self
and then they proceed from realisation of Self to Nirvana
or some Heaven and abandon life. The Supramental
Yoga is necessary for the transformation of terrestrial
life and being, not for reaching the Self. One must realise
Self first, only afterwards can one realise the Supermind.
This Yoga is "new" because it aims at the integrality of
the Divine in this world.
The Sadhaka of integral Yoga who stops short at the
Impersonal is no longer a sadhaka of integral Yoga.
Without the action of the integral Divine there is no
change of the whole nature. If it were not so, the Mother
would not be here and I would not be here if a realisation
of the Impersonal were sufficient.... It is only the Supra-
mental that is all-knowledge. All below that from
Overmind to Matter is Ignorance.
Each man who enters the realms of Yogic experience
is free to follow his own way; but this Yoga is not a path
for anyone to follow, but only for those who accept to
seek the aim, pursue the way pointed out upon which
a sure guidance is indispensable. It is idle for anyone
to expect that he can follow this road far, much less
go to the end by his own inner strength and knowledge
without the true aid or influence. Even the ordinary
long-practised Yogas are hard to follow without the aid
of the Guru; in this which as it advances goes through
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 35
untrodden countries and unknown entangled regions,
it is quite impossible. As for the work to be done, it also
is not a work for any sadhak of any path; it is not, either,
the work of the "Impersonal" Divine who, for that
matter, is not an active Power but supports impartially
all work in the universe. It is a training ground for those
who have to pass through the difficult and complex way
of this Yoga and none other. All work here must be done
in a spirit of acceptance, discipline and surrender, not
with personal demands and conditions, but with a vigilant
conscious submission to control and guidance....
The fundamental difference is in the teaching that
there is a dynamic divine Truth and that into the present
world of Ignorance that Truth can descend, create a new
Truth-consciousness and divinise Life. The old Yogas
go straight from mind to the absolute Divine, regard all
dynamic existence as Ignorance, Illusion or Lila; when
you enter the static and immutable Divine Truth, they
say, you pass out of cosmic existence....
My aim is to realise and also to manifest the Divine in
the world, bringing down for the purpose a yet unmani-
fested Power, such as the Supermind.
I have to bring it into the cosmic formula and, if so, I
must realise the cosmic Divine and become conscious of the
cosmic self and the cosmic forces. But I have to embody
it here, otherwise it is left as an influence only and not
a thing fixed in the physical world, and it is through the
Divine in the individual alone that this can be done.
36 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It is no part of my Yoga to have nothing to do with the
world or with life or to kill the senses or entirely inhibit
their action. It is the object of my Yoga to transform life
by bringing down into it the Light, Power and Bliss of
the Divine Truth and its dynamic certitude. This Yoga
is not a Yoga of world-shunning asceticism, but of divine
This Yoga accepts the value of cosmic existence and
holds it to be a reality; its object is to enter into a higher
Truth-Consciousness in which action and creation are
the expression not of ignorance and imperfection, but
of the Truth, the Light, the Divine Ananda. But for
that, surrender of the mortal mind, life and body to that
Higher Consciousness is indispensable, since it is too
difficult for the mortal human being to pass by its own
effort beyond mind to a Supramental Consciousness in
which the dynamism is no longer mental but of quite
another power. Only those who can accept the call to-
such a change should enter into this Yoga.
My Yoga is new as compared with the old Yogas:
(i) Because it aims not at a departure out of world
and life into Heaven or Nirvana, but at a change of life
and existence, not as something subordinate or incidental,
but as a distinct and central object. If there is a descent
in other Yogas, yet it is only an incident on the way
or resulting from the ascent the ascent is the real
thing. Here the ascent is the first step, but it is a means
for the descent. It is the descent of the new conscious-
ness attained by the ascent that is the stamp and seal
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 37
of the sadhana. Even the Tantra and Vaishnavism end
in the release from life; here the object is the divine
fulfilment of life.
(2) Because the object sought after is not an individual
achievement of divine realisation for the sake of the
individual, but something to be gained for the earth-
consciousness here, a cosmic, not solely a supra-cosmic
achievement. The thing to be gained also is the bringing
in of a Power of Consciousness (the Supramental) not
yet organised or active directly in earth-nature, even in
the spiritual life, but yet to be organised and made
(3) Because a method has been preconized for
achieving this purpose which is as total and integral as
the aim set before it, viz., the total and integral change
of the consciousness and nature, taking up old methods
but only as a part action and present aid to others that
are distinctive. I have not found this method (as a
whole) or anything like it professed or realised in the
old Yogas. If I had, I should not have wasted my time
in hewing out paths and in thirty years of search and
inner creation when I could have hastened home safely
to my goal in an easy canter over paths already blazed
out, laid down, perfectly mapped, macadamised, made
secure and public. Our Yoga is not a retreading of old
walks, but a spiritual adventure.
38 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The purely monistic Vedantist says, all is Brahman,
life is a dream, an unreality, only Brahman exists. One
has Nirvana or Mukti, then one lives only till the body
falls after that there is no such thing as life.
What has to be overcome is the opposition of the
Ignorance that does not want the transformation of the
nature. If that can be overcome, then old spiritual
ideas will not form an obstacle.
It is not intended to supramentalise humanity at large,
but to establish the principle of the Supramental con-
sciousness in the earth-evolution. If that is done, all
that is needed will be evolved by the Supramental Power
itself. It is not therefore important that the mission
should be wide-spread. What is important is that the
thing should be done at all in however small a number;
that is the only difficulty.
It is in the waking state that this realisation must
come and endure in order to be a reality of the life.
If experienced in trance it will be a superconscient state
only for some part of the inner being but not real to the
whole consciousness. Experience and trance have their
utility for opening the being and preparing it but it is
only when the realisation is constant in the waking
state that it is truly possessed. Therefore in this Yoga
much value is given to the waking realisation and
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 39
This is not a Yoga of Bhakti alone; it is or at least it
claims to be an integral Yoga, that is, a turning of all the
being in all its parts to the Divine, so that the nature
also may become one with the nature of the Divine.
The object of the sadhana is opening of the conscious-
ness to the Divine and the change of the nature. Medita-
tion or contemplation is one means to this but only one
means; bhakti is another; work is another. Chitta-
shuddhi was preached by the Yogins as a first means
towards realisation and they got by it the saintliness of
the saint and the quietude of the sage but the transforma-
tion of the nature of which we speak is something more
than that, and this transformation does not come by
contemplation alone; works are necessary. Yoga in action
The purpose of the old Yogas is to get away from life
to the Divine so obviously, let us drop Karma. The
purpose of this new Yoga is to reach the Divine and
bring the fullness of what is gained into life for that.
Yoga by works is indispensable.
Veda and Vedanta are one side of the One Truth;
Tantra with its emphasis on Shakti is another; in this
Yoga all sides of the Truth are taken up, not in the syste-
matic forms given them formerly but in their essence,
and carried to the fullest and highest significance. The
40 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
integral Yoga needs to develop its own forms and pro-
cesses, but the ascent of the consciousness through
the centres and other Tantric knowledge are there
behind the process of transformation to which so much
importance is given by me also the truth that nothing
can be done except through the force of the Mother.
In our Yoga the Nirvana is the beginning of the higher
Truth, as it is the passage from the Ignorance to the
higher Truth. The Ignorance has to be extinguished
in order that the Truth may manifest.
The Jain philosophy is concerned with individual
perfection. Our effort is quite different. We want to
bring down the Supermind as a new faculty. Just as
the mind is now a permanent state of consciousness
in humanity, so also we want to create a race in which
the Supermind will be a permanent state of consciousness.
You seem not to have understood the principle of
this Yoga. The old Yoga demanded a complete renun-
ciation extending to the giving up of the worldly life
itself. This Yoga aims instead at a new and transformed
life. But it insists as inexorably on a complete throwing
away of desire and attachment in the mind, life and
body. Its aim is to refound life in the truth of the spirit
and for that purpose to transfer the roots of all we are
and do from the mind, life and body to a greater con-
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 4!
sciousness above the mind. All must be given up to
the Supreme Master of the Yoga.
The power that works in this Yoga is of a thorough-
going character and tolerates in the end nothing great or
small, that is an obstacle to the Truth and its realisation.
The traditions of the past are very great in their own
place, in the past, but I do not see why we should merely
repeat them and not go farther. In the spiritual develop-
ment of the consciousness upon earth the great past ought
to be followed by a greater future.
All other Yogas regard this life as an illusion or a
passing phase; the supramental Yoga alone regards it as
a thing created by the Divine for a progressive manifes-
tation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body
for its object.
I have objected in the past to vairagya of the ascetic
kind and the tamasic kind. I object to it for those who
come to this Yoga because it is incompatible with my
aim which is to bring- the Divine into life.
42 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
By Yoga we can rise out of falsehood into truth, out of
weakness into force, out of pain and grief into bliss, out
of bondage into freedom, out of death into immortality >
out of darkness into light, out of confusion into purity,
out of imperfection into perfection, out of self-division
into unity, out of Maya into God. All other utilisation of
Yoga is for special and fragmentary advantages not always
worth pursuing. Only that which aims at possessing the
fulness of God is Purna Yoga or Integral Yoga.
All Yoga which takes us entirely away from the world,,
is a high but narrow specialisation of divine tapasya.
God in His perfection embraces everything, we also must
In brief, by Yoga, we have to replace dualities by
unity, egoism by divine consciousness, ignorance by divine
wisdom, thought by divine knowledge, weakness, struggle
and effort by self-contented divine force, pain and false
pleasure by divine bliss. This is called in the language
of Christ bringing down the kingdom of heaven on
earth, or in modern language, realising and effectuating
God in the world.
The principle of this Yoga is not a perfection of humait
nature as it is, but a psychic and spiritual transformation
of all the parts of the being through the action of an inner
consciousness and then of a higher consciousness which
works on them, throws out the old movements or changes
them into an image of its own and so transmutes the lower
PAST YOGAS AND THE INTEGRAL YOGA 4
into higher nature. It is not so much the perfection of
the intellect as a transformation of it, a transformation
of the mind, the substitution of a larger greater principle
of knowledge and so with all the rest of the being.
This is a slow and difficult process; the road is long
and it is hard to establish even the necessary basis. The
old existing nature resists and obstructs and difficulties
rise one after another, till they are overcome.
Yoga of the Gita
Our Yoga is not identical with the Yoga of the Gita
although it contains all that is essential in the Gita's
Yoga. In our Yoga we begin with the idea, the will,,
the aspiration of the complete surrender ; but at the
same time we have to reject the lower nature, deliver
our consciousness from it, deliver the self involved in
the lower nature by the self rising to freedom in the
higher nature. The full truth is in the supramental
consciousness and the power to work from there on life
The Gita does not speak expressly of the Divine
Mother ; it speaks always of surrender to the Purushot-
tama it mentions her only as the Para Prakriti who
becomes the Jiva, that is, who manifests the Divine
in the multiplicity and through whom all these worlds
are created by the Supreme and he himself descends-
44 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
as the Avatar. The Gita follows the Vedantic tradition
which leans entirely on the Ishwara aspect of the Divine
and speaks little of the Divine Mother because its object
is to draw back from world-nature and arrive at the
supreme realisation beyond it; the Tantric tradition
leans on the Shakti or Ishwari aspect and makes all
depend on the Divine Mother because its object is to
possess and dominate the world-nature and arrive at
the supreme realisation through it. This Yoga insists
on both the aspects ; the surrender to the Divine Mother
is essential for without it there is no fulfilment of the
object of the Yoga.
The Gita at its cryptic close may seem by its silence
to stop short of that solution for which we are seeking;
it pauses at the borders of the highest spiritual mind
and does not cross them into the splendours of the
I suggested the Gita method for you because the
opening which is necessary for the Yoga here seems to
be too difficult for you. I may say that the way of the
Gita is itself a part of the Yoga here and those who
have followed it, to begin with or as a first stage, have
a stronger basis than others for this Yoga.
The ordinary life consists in work for personal aim
and satisfaction of desire under some mental or moral
control, touched sometimes by a mental ideal. The
Gita's Yoga consists in the offering of one's work as a
sacrifice to the Divine, the conquest of desire, egoless
and desireless action, bhakti for the Divine, an entering
into the cosmic consciousness, the sense of unity with
all creatures, oneness with the Divine. This Yoga adds
the bringing down of the supramental Light and Force
and the transformation of the nature.^
AN Avatar, roughly speaking, is one who is conscious of
the presence and power of the Divine born in him or
descended into him and governing from within his will
and life and action; he feels identified inwardly with
this divine power and presence. But a Vibhuti is supposed
to embody some power of the Divine and is enabled by
it to act with great force in the world, but that is all
that is necessary to make him a Vibhuti : the power may
be very great, but the consciousness is not that of an
inborn or indwelling Divinity.
The Avatar takes upon himself the nature of humanity
in his instrumental parts, though the consciousness acting
behind is divine. That does not prevent the Avatar from
acting as men act and using the movements of Nature
.46 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
for his life and work. Surely for the earth consciousness
the very fact that the Divine manifests himself is the
greatest of all splendours.
Jhe Divine puts on an appearance of humanity, assumes
the outward human nature in order to tread the path ancl
show it to human beings, but does not cease to be the
Divine. It is a manifestation that takes place, a manifesta-
tion of a growing Divine consciousness, not human
turning into divine. The Mother was inwardly above the
human even in childhood.
the Divine descends, he takes upon himself the
burden .of humanity in order to exceed it he becomes
humanin order.to show humanity how to become Divine.
But that cannot be if there is only a weakling without
any divine Presence within or divine Force behind him
he has to be strong in order to put his strength ipto all
who are willing to receive it. There is therefore in him
a double element human in front, Divine behind. The
Divinity acts according to another consciousness, the con-
sciousness of the Truth above and the Lila below and
It acts according to the need of the Lila, not according
to men's ideas of what It should or should not do.
The Divine Manifestation, even when it manifests in
mental and human ways, has behind it a consciousness
greater than the mind and not bound by the petty mental
and moral conventions of this very ignorant human
race so that to impose these standards on the Divine is
to try to do what is irrational and impossible.
The Divine does the sadhana first for the world and
then gives what is brought down to others. Naturally,
the Mother does the sadhana in each sadhak only it is
conditioned by their zeal and their receptivity.
It is much easier for the sadhak by faith in the Mother
to keep free because the Mother by the very nature
of her work had to identify herself with the sadhaks, to
support all their difficulties, to receive into herself all
the poison in their nature, to take up besides all the diffi-
culties of the universal earth-nature, including the possi-
bility of death and disease in order to fight them out. If
she had not done that, not a single sadhak would have
been able to practise this Yoga. The Divine has to jut on
humanity in order that the human being may rise \o the
Divine. It is a simple truth, but nobody seems to be
able to understand that the Divine can do that and yet
remain different from them can still remain the
48 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Avatar is not supposed to act in a non-human way
he takes up human action and uses human methods
with the human consciousness in front and the Divine
behind. If he did not, his taking a human body would
have no meaning and would be of no use to anybody.
He could just as well have stayed above and done things
The manifestation of the Divine in the Avatar is of
help to man because it helps him to discover his own
divinity, find the way to realise it.
There are two sides of the phenomenon of Avatar-
hood, the Divine Consciousness and the instrumental
personality. The Divine Consciousness is omnipotent
but it has put forth the instrumental personality in Nature
under the conditions of Nature and it uses it according
to the rules of the game though also sometime to
change the rules of the game.
The Divine does not need to suffer or struggle for
himself; if he takes on these things it is in order to bear
the world-burden and help the world and men. The
Divine bears them and at the same time shows the way
out of them; otherwise his assumption of human nature
has no meaning and no utility and no value. I have said
that the Avatar is one who comes to open the Way for
humanity to a higher consciousness.
The Mother :
The Divine Grace alone has the power to intervene
and change the course of Universal Justice. The great
work of the Avatar is to manifest the Divine Grace upon
earth. To be a disciple of the Avatar is to become an
instrument of the Divine Grace. The Mother is the
great dispensatrix through identity of the Divine
Grace, with a perfect knowledge through identity of
the absolute mechanism of Universal Justice.
The chief purpose of avatarhood is to give to men a
concrete proof that the Divine can live upon earth.
To believe or not to believe in the possibility of avatar-
hood can make no difference to the bare fact. If God
chooses to manifest in a human body I do not see how
any human thought, approval or disapproval can affect
in the least His decision; and if He takes birth in a body,
the denial of men cannot prevent the fact from being a
fact, and if He decides not to incarnate in a human body,
the faith, certitude and belief of all humanity cannot in
the least alter the fact that He is not incarnate. It is only
in perfect quietness and silence, free from all prejudices
and preferences, that the consciousness can perceive the
50 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF
FOR myself, the dark conditions do not discourage me
of the vanity of my will to "help the world", for I knew
they had to come ; they were there in the world-nature
and had to rise up so that they might be exhausted or
expelled and a better world freed from them might be
there. After all, something has been done in the outer
field and that may help or prepare for getting some-
thing done in the inner field also. For instance, India
is free and her freedom was necessary if the divine work
was to be done. The difficulties that surround her now
and may increase for a time, especially with regard to
the Pakistan imbroglio, were also things that had to
come and to be cleared out.... Here too there is sure to
be a full clearance, though unfortunately, a considerable
amount of human suffering in the process is inevitable.
Afterwards the work for the Divine will become more
possible and it may well be that the dream, if it is a
dream, of leading the world towards the spiritual light,
may even become a reality. So I am not disposed even
now, in these dark conditions to consider my will to help
the world as condemned to failure.
I believe the descent of this Truth opening the way
to a development of divine consciousness here to be the
final sense of the earth evolution. If greater men than
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF 51
myself have not had this vision and this ideal before them,
that is no reason why I should not follow my Truth-
sense and Truth-vision. There is no question of X or
Y or anybody else in that. It is a question between
the Divine and myself whether it is the Divine Will
or not, whether I am sent to bring that down or open
the way for its descent or at least make it more possible
I have no intention of achieving the Supermind for
myself only I am not doing anything for myself, as
I have no personal need of anything, neither of salvation
(Moksha) nor supramentalisation. If I am seeking after
supramentalisation, it is because it is a thing that has
to be done for the earth-consciousness and if it is not
done in myself, it cannot be done in others. My supra-
mentalisation is only a key for opening the gates of the
Supramental to the earth-consciousness ; done for its
own sake, it would be perfectly futile....
Of course, anyone who wants to change earth-nature
must first accept it in order to change it. To quote
from a poem of my own, A God's Labour :
He who would bring the heavens here.
Must descend himself into clay
And the burden of earthly nature bear
And tread the dolorous way....
52 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
As for faith, you write as if I never had a doubt or
any difficulty. I have had worse than any human mind
can think of. It is not because I have ignored difficulties,
but because I have seen them more clearly, experienced
them on a larger scale than anyone living now or be-
fore me that, having faced and measured them, I am
sure of the results of my work. In the way that one
treads with the greater Light above, even every diffi-
culty gives its help and has its value and Night itself
carries in it the burden of the Light that has to be.
I know with absolute certitude that the Supramental
is a truth and that its advent is in the very nature of
things inevitable. The question is as to the when and
the how. That also is decided and predestined from
somewhere above ; but it is here being fought out amid
a rather grim clash of conflicting forces. That is, how-
ever, certain that a number of souls have been sent to
see that it shall be now. My faith and will are for the
If we had lived physically in the Supermind from the
beginning nobody could have been able to approach us
nor could any sadhana have been done. There could
have been no hope of contact between ourselves and
the earth and men. Even as it is, Mother has to come
down towards the lower consciousness of the sadhaks
instead of keeping always in Her own. The Divine has
to veil himself in order to meet the human.
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF 53
There is no difference between the Mother's path
and mine ; we have and always had the same path, the
path that leads to the supramental change and the divine
realisation ; not only at the end, but from the beginning
they have been the same.
The attempt to set up a division and opposition
putting the Mother on one side and myself on another
and opposite or quite different side, has always been
a trick of the forces of Falsehood when they want to
prevent a sadhak from reaching the Truth. Dismiss all
such falsehoods from your mind. The Mother and my-
self stand for the same Power in two forms.
You consider that the Mother can be of no help to
you. If you cannot profit by her help, you would find
still less profit in mine. But, in any case, I have no
intention of altering the arrangement I have made for
all the disciples without exception that they should
receive the light and force from her and not directly
from me and be guided by her in their spiritual pro-
gress. I have made the arrangement not for any tem-
porary purpose but because it is the one way, provided
always the disciple is open and receives.
The Mother and myself deal with all according to the
law of the Divine. We receive alike rich and poor, those
who are high-born or low-born according to human
standards, and extend to them an equal love and pro-
54 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tection. Their progress in sadhana is our main concern
for they have come here for that, not to satisfy their
palates or their bellies, not to make ordinary vital de-
mands or to quarrel about position or place or comforts.
That progress depends on how they answer to the
Mother's love or protection whether they receive the
forces she pours on all alike, whether they use or mis-
use what she gives them. But the Mother has no inten-
tion or obligation to deal with all outwardly in the same
way the demand that she should do so is absurd and
imbecille and if she did it, she would prove false to
the truth of things and the law of the Divine. Each
sadhak has to be dealt with according to his nature, his
capacities, his real needs (not his claims or desires) and
according to what is best for his spiritual welfare. As
to how it is to be done, we refuse to be dictated to by
the ignorance of those of the sadhaks who consider that
the Mother must act according to their standards or
their ideas of equality or justice or the demands of their
vital or the notions they have brought with them from
the outside world. We act according to the Light within
us and for the Truth that we are striving to establish
in this earthly Nature.
In Mother's childhood's visions she saw myself whom
she knew as "Krishna".
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF 55
The detail of method of the later stages of the Yoga,
which go into little known or untrodden regions, I have
not made public and I do not at present intend to do
What we are doing, if and when we succeed, will be a
beginning, not a completion. It is the foundation of a
new consciousness on earth a consciousness with infinite
possibilities of manifestation. The eternal progression
is in the manifestation and beyond it there is no
It is only Divine Love which can bear the burden I
have to bear, that all have to bear who have sacrificed
everything else to the one aim of uplifting earth out of
its darkness towards the Divine....
The Mother's difficulties are not her own; she bears
the difficulties of others and those that are inherent in
the general action and working for the transformation....
We have to do it through ourselves first and, through
the circle of sadhaks gathered around us, in the terres-
trial consciousness as typified here. If a few open, that
is sufficient for the process to be possible. On the other
hand, if there is a general misunderstanding and resis-
tance, that makes it difficult and the process more
laborious, but it does not make it impossible.
Progress might be slow at first, but progress would
come; it would quicken afterwards and with the
56 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
supramental force here, there would be for you as for
others the full speed and certitude.
We are not working for a race or a people or a continent
or for a realisation of which only Indians or only Orientals
are capable. Our aim is not, either, to found a religion
or a school of philosophy or a school of Yoga, but to
create a ground of spiritual growth and experience and
a way which will bring down a greater Truth beyond
the mind but not inaccessible to the human soul and
consciousness. All can pass who are drawn to that
Truth, whether they are from India or elsewhere, from
the East or from the West.
It would be only myself who could speak of things
in my past giving them their true form and significance.
Neither you nor anyone else knows anything at all
of my life ; it has not been on the surface for men to
I may say also that I did not leave politics because
I felt I could do nothing more there ; such an idea was
very far from me. I came away because I got a distinct
"Adesh" in the matter....
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF 57
For the rest, I have never known any will of mine
for one major event in the conduct of the world affairs
to fail in the end, although it may take a long time for
the world-forces to fulfil it.
August 1 5th is my own birthday and it is naturally
gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast
significance (of free India). I take this coincidence,
not as a fortuitous accident, but as the sanction and seal
of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work
with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition.
...In all these movements free India may well play a
large part and take a leading position....
Indeed, on this day I can watch almost all the world-
movements which I hoped to see fulfilled in my lifetime,
though then they looked like impracticable dreams,
arriving at fruition or on their way to achievement.
The first of these dreams was a revolutionary move-
ment which would create a free and united India. India
today is free but she has not achieved unity.... The old
communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems
now to have hardened into a permanent political divi-
sion of the country. It is to be hoped that this settled
fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as any-
thing more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts,
India may be seriously weakened, even crippled....
This must not be; the partition must go.... By whatever
58 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
means, in whatever way, the division must go ; unity
must and will be achieved, for it is necessary for the
greatness of India's future.
Another dream was for the resurgence and liberation
of the peoples of Asia and her return to her great role
in the progress of human civilisation.
The third dream was a world-union forming the outer
basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all man-
kind. That unification of the human world is under
way ; there is an imperfect initiation organised but
struggling against tremendous difficulties.
Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world
has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe
and America in an ever increasing measure....
The final dream was a step in evolution which would
raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin
the solution of the problems which have perplexed and
vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of
individual perfection and a perfect society.
From Early Letters of 1911-1915
I am developing the necessary powers for bringing
down the spiritual on the material plane, and I am now
able to put myself into men and change them, removing
the darkness and bringing light, giving them a new
heart and a new mind. This I can do with great swift-
SRI AUROBINDO ON HIMSELF 59 s
ness and completeness with those who are near me, but
I have also succeeded with men hundreds of miles away.
I have also been given the power to read men's characters
and hearts, even their thoughts, but this power is not
yet absolutely complete, nor can I use it always and in
all cases. My communication with the other world
is yet of a troubled character, though I am certainly
in communication with some very great powers. But of
all these things I will write more when the final obstacles
in my way are cleared from the path.
What I perceive more clearly, is that the principal
object of my Yoga is to remove absolutely and entirely
every possible source of error and ineffectiveness, of
error in order that the Truth I shall eventually show to
men may be perfect, and of ineffectiveness in order that
the work of changing the world, so far as I have to assist
it, may be entirely victorious and irresistible. It is for this
reason that I have been going through so long a discipline
and that the more brilliant and mighty results of Yoga
have been so long withheld. I have been kept busy laying
down the foundation, a work severe and painful. It is
only now that the edifice is beginning to rise upon the
sure and perfect foundation that has been laid.
My Yoga is proceeding with great rapidity, but I defer
writing to you of the results until certain experiments in
which I am now engaged, have yielded fruit sufficient
to establish beyond dispute the theory and system of Yoga
which I have formed and which is giving great results
not only to me, but to the young men who are with
60 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
me. ...I expect these results within a month, if all goes
The whole earth is now under one law and answers to
the same vibrations and I am sceptical of finding any place
where the clash of the struggle will not pursue us. In any
case, an effective retirement does not seem to be my
destiny. I must remain in touch with the world until I
have either mastered adverse circumstances or succumbed
or carried on the struggle between the spiritual and
physical so far as I am destined to carry it on. This is
how I have always seen things and still see them.
One needs to have a calm heart, a settled will, entire
self-abnegation and the eyes constantly fixed on the
beyond to live undiscouraged in times like these which
are truly a period of universal decomposition. For
myself, I follow the Voice and look neither to right nor
to left of me. The result is not mine and hardly at all
now even the labour.
Heaven we have possessed, but not the earth ; but
the fullness of the Yoga is to make, in the formula of
the Veda, "Heaven and Earth equal and one."
Everything internal is ripe or ripening, but there is
a sort of locked struggle in which neither side can make
SRI AUROBINDO ON THE MOTHER 6l
a very appreciable advance, the spiritual force insisting
against the resistance disputing every inch and making
more or less effective counter-attacks.... And if there
were not the strength and Ananda within, it would be
harassing and disgusting work ; but the eye of know-
ledge looks beyond and sees that it is only a protracted
SRI AUROBINDO ON THE MOTHER
THE One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine
Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and
yet so many-sided that to follow her movement is im-
possible even for the quickest mind and for the freest
and most vast intelligence. The Mother is the conscious-
ness and force of the Supreme and far above all she
But personally too the Mother has stooped to descend
here into the Darkness that she may lead it to the Light,
into the Falsehood and Error that she may convert it to
the Truth, into this Death that she may turn it to godlike
Life, into this world-pain and its obstinate sorrow and
suffering that she may end it in the transforming ecstasy
of her sublime Ananda. In her deep and great love for
her children she has consented to put on herself the
cloak of this obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks
and torturing influences of the powers of the Darkness
and the Falsehood, borne to pass through the portals of
62 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the birth that is a death, taken upon herself the pangs
and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it
seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and
Joy and Truth and eternal Life.
The Mother's consciousness and mine are the same, the
one Divine Consciousness in two, because that is neces-
sary for the play. Nothing can be done without her
knowledge and force, without her consciousness if any-
body really feels her consciousness, he should know that
I am there behind it and if he feels me it is the same
The Mother's consciousness is the divine conscious-
ness and the Light that comes from it is the light of the
Divine Truth. One who receives and accepts and lives
in the Mother's light, will begin to see the truth on all
the planes, the mental, the vital, the physical.
It is not necessary for us always to be physically con-
scious of the action, for it is often carried out when the
mind is occupied with outward things or when we sleep.
The Mother's sleep is not sleep but an inner conscious-
ness in which she is in connection with people or working
everywhere. At the time she is aware, but she does not
carry all that always into her waking consciousness or in
her memory. A call would come in the occupied waking
mind as the thought of the person coming in a more
SRI AUROBINDO ON THE MOTHER 63
free or in a concentrated state as a communication from
the person in question; in a deeper concentration or in
sleep or trance she would see the person coming and
speaking to her or she herself going there. Besides
that, wherever the Force is working, the Presence is there.
Mother's embodiment is a chance for the earth-con-
sciousness to receive the Supramental into it and to
undergo first the transformation necessary for that to
be possible. Afterwards there will be a further transfor-
mation by the Supramental.
There is one divine Force which acts in the universe
and in the individual and is also beyond the individual
and the universe. The Mother stands for all these, but
she is working here in the body to bring down something
not yet expressed in this material world so as to trans-
form life here it is so that you should regard her as the
Divine Shakti working here for that purpose. She is
that in the body, but in her whole consciousness she is
also identified with all the other aspects of the Divine.
The Divine Mother is the Consciousness and Force
of the Divine which is the Mother of all things.
It is the Divine who is the Master the Self is inactive,
it is always a silent witness supporting all things that is
the static aspect. There is also the dynamic aspect through
64 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
which the Divine works behind that is the Mother.
You must not lose sight of that, that it is through the
Mother that all things are attained.
The relation which exists between the Mother and all
who accept her is a psychic and spiritual motherhood.
It is a far greater relation than that of the physical mother
to her child; it gives all that human motherhood can give,
but in a much higher way, and it contains in itself
If the sadhak becomes unfaithful to the Mother, it
means that he did not want the sadhana or the Mother
but the satisfaction of his desires and his ego. That is
Mother has taken the body because a work of a physical
nature, including a change in the physical world, had to
be done. Some have come with her to share in the work,
others she had called, others have come seeking for the
light. With each she has a personal relation or a possi-
bility of the personal relation, but each is of its own kind.
To apply the silly mathematical rules of the physical mind
here is absurd. Your physical mind cannot understand
what the Mother does, its values and standards and
ideas are not hers. It is still worse to make your personal
vital demand or desire the measure of what she ought to
do. She acts in each case for different reasons suitable to
SRI AUROBINDO ON THE MOTHER 65
Whether in work or in Yoga the Mother acts not from
the mind or from the level of consciousness from which
these criticisms arise, but from quite another vision
and consciousness. If people want to understand why
the Mother does things, let them get into the same inner
consciousness from which she sees and acts. As to what
she is, that also can only be seen either with the eye of
faith or of a deeper vision.
It is the Purusha and Prakriti sides of the nature one
leading to pure conscious existence, static, the other to
pure conscious force, dynamic the Mother.
If I give, the Mother's force goes with it, or else the
sadhak would get nothing, and if the Mother gives, my
support goes with it and gives it my light as well as the
Mother's. It is two sides of one indivisible action one
carrying with it the other. It is the Mother's Force that
gives the push.
The Mother proposition is true. If one is open to Sri
Aurobindo and not to the Mother it means that one is
not really open to Sri Aurobindo. There is one force only,
the Mother's force or, if you like to put it like that, the
Mother is Sri Aurobindo's Force.
66 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
This is what is termed the Adya Shakti; she is the
Supreme Consciousness and Power above the universe
and it is by her that all the Gods are manifested, and even
the Supramental Ishwara comes into manifestation
through her the Supramental Purushottama of whom
the Gods are Powers and Personalities.
As for the Mantra 3 usually the Mother's name has
the full power in it; but in certain states of consciousness
the double Name [The Mother & Sri Aurobindo] may
have a special effect.
A free and united India will be there and the Mother
will gather around her her sons and weld them into a
single national strength in the life of a great and united
PROCESS OF SADHANA
THERE are two powers that alone can eject in their
conjunction the great and difficult thing which is the
aim of our endeavour, a fixed and unfailing aspiration
that calls from below and a supreme Grace from above
But the supreme Grace will act only in the conditions
of the Light and the Truth; it will not act in conditions
PROCESS OF SADHANA 67
laid upon it by the Falsehood and the Ignorance. For
if it were to yield to the demands of the Falsehood, it
would defeat its own purpose.
These are the conditions of the Light and Truth:
There must be a total and sincere surrender; there
must be an exclusive self-opening to the divine Power;
there must be a constant and integral choice of the
Truth that is descending, a constant and integral re-
jection of the falsehood of the mental, vital and physical
Powers and Appearances that still rule the earth-Nature.
The surrender must be total and seize all the parts of
the being. There must be no part of the being, even the
most external, anything that makes a reserve, anything
that hides behind doubts, confusion and subterfuges,
anything that revolts or refuses.
If behind your devotion and surrender you make a
cover for your desires, egoistic demands and vital insis-
tences, if you put these things in place of the true as-
piration or mix them with it and try to impose them
on the Divine Shakti, then it is idle to invoke the
divine Grace to transform you. You must keep the
temple clean if you wish to instal there the living
Reject the false notion that the divine Power will do
and is bound to do everything for you at your demand
and even though you do not satisfy the conditions laid
down by the Supreme. Make your surrender true and
complete, then only will all else be done for you. Reject
too the false and indolent expectation that the divine
68 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Power will do even the surrender for you. The Supreme
demands your surrender to her, but does not impose
it; you are free at every moment, till the irrevocable
transformation comes, to deny and to reject the Divine
or to recall your self-giving, if you are willing to suffer
the spiritual consequences. Your surrender must be
self-made and free; it must be the surrender of a living
being, not of an inert automaton or mechanical tool.
A glad and strong and helpful submission is demanded
to the working of the Divine Force, the obedience of
the illumined disciple of the Truth, of the inner Warrior
who fights against obscurity and falsehood, of the faithful
servarft of the Divine.
So long as the lower nature is active the personal effort
of the sadhaka remains necessary. The personal effort
required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and
(i) An aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing.
(ii) Rejection of the movements of the lower nature.
(iii) Surrender of oneself and all one is and has.
In proportion as the surrender and self-consecration
progress, the Sadhaka becomes conscious of the Divine
Shakti doing the sadhana. The more this conscious
process replaces his own effort, the more rapid and true
becomes his progress. But it cannot completely replace
the necessity of personal effort until the surrender and
consecration are pure and complete from top to bottom.
Note that a tamasic surrender refusing to fulfil the
conditions and calling on God to do everything and
PROCESS OF SADHANA 69
save one all the trouble and struggle is a deception and
does not lead to freedom and perfection....
To walk through life armoured against all fear, peril
and disaster, only two things are needed, two that go
always together the Grace of the Divine Mother and
on your side an inner state made up of faith, sincerity
and surrender. Let your faith be pure, candid and
perfect. An egoistic faith in the mental and vital being
tainted by ambition, pride, vanity, mental arrogance,
vital self-will, personal demand, desire for the petty
satisfactions of the lower nature is a low and smoke-
obscured flame that cannot burn upwards to heaven.
Regard your life as given you only for the divine work
and to help in the divine manifestation. Desire nothing
but the purity, force, light, wideness, calm, ananda of
the divine consciousness and its insistence to transform
and perfect your mind, life and body. Ask for nothing
but the divine, spiritual and supramental Truth, its
realisation on earth and in you and in all who are called
and chosen and the conditions needed for its creation
and its victory over all opposing forces.
Let your sincerity and surrender be genuine and entire.
When you give yourself, give completely, without demand,
without condition, without reservation so that all in you
shall belong to the Divine Mother and nothing be left to
the ego or given to any other power.
The more complete your faith, sincerity and surrender,
the more will grace and protection be with you. And
when the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are
70 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
with you, what is there that can touch you or whom need
you fear? A little of it even will carry you through all diffi-
culties, obstacles and dangers; surrounded by its full pre-
sence you can go securely on your way because it is hers,
careless of all menace, unaifected by any hostility however
powerful, whether from this world or from worlds in-
visible. Its touch can turn difficulties into opportunities,
failure into success and weakness into unfaltering strength.
While this transformation is being done it is more than
ever necessary to keep yourself free from all taint of the
perversions of the ego. Let no demand or insistence creep
in to stain the purity of the self-giving and the sacrifice.
There must be no attachment to the work or the result,
no laying down of conditions, no claim to possess the
Power that should possess you, no pride of the instrument,
no vanity or arrogance. Nothing in the mind or in the
vital or physical parts should be suffered to distort to its
own use or seize for its own personal and separate satis-
faction the greatness of the forces that are acting through
you. Let your faith, your sincerity, your purity of aspi-
ration be absolute and pervasive of all the planes and layers
of the being; then every disturbing element and distorting
influence will progressively fall away from your nature.
The sadhana of this Yoga does not proceed through any
set mental teaching or prescribed forms of meditation,
PROCESS OF SADHANA Jl
mantras or others, but by aspiration, by a self-concentra-
tion inwards or upwards, by self-opening to an Influence,
to the Divine Power above us and its workings, to the
Divine Presence in the heart and by the rejection of all
that is foreign to these things. It is only by faith, aspi-
ration and surrender that this self-opening can come.
It is not by taking a mere mental attitude that this can
be done or even by any number of inner experiences which
leave the outer man as he was. It is this outer man who
has to open, to surrender and to change. His every least
movement, habit, action has to be surrendered, seen,
held up and exposed to the divine Light, offered to the
divine Force for its old forms and motives to be destroyed
and the divine Truth and the action of the transforming
consciousness of the Divine Mother to take their place.
The constant presence of the Mother comes by practice;
the Divine Grace is essential for success in the sadhana>
but it is the practice that prepares the descent of the Grace.
You have to learn to go inward, ceasing to live in exter-
nal things only, quiet the mind and aspire to become
aware of the Mother's working in you.
Faith, reliance upon God, surrender and self-giving to
the Divine Power are necessary and indispensable. But
72 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
reliance upon God must not be made an excuse for in-
dolence, weakness and surrender to the impulses of the
There is no method in this Yoga except to concentrate,
preferably in the heart, and call the presence and power
of the Mother to take up the being and by the workings
of her force transform the consciousness. When the mind
falls quiet and the concentration becomes strong and the
aspiration intense, then there is a beginning of experience.
The more the faith, the more rapid the result is likely to
be. The bhakta does not rely on his own effort alone,
but on the grace and power of the Divine whom he adores.
There are always difficulties and a hampered progress
in the early stages and a delay in the opening of the inner
doors until the being is ready. The road of Yoga is long,
every inch of ground has to be won against much resis-
tance and no quality is more needed by the sadhak than
patience and single-minded perseverance with a faith
that remains firm through all difficulties, delays and
Each part of the nature wants to go on with its old
movements and refuses, so far as it can, to admit a radical
change and progress, because that Would subject it to
something higher than itself and deprive it of its sove-
reignty in its own field, its separate empire. It is this
that makes transformation so long and difficult a process.
PROCESS OF SADHANA 73
The lower nature is ignorant and undivine, not in itself
hostile but shut to the Light and Truth. The hostile
forces are anti-divine, not merely undivine; they make
use of the lower nature, pervert it, fill it with distorted
movements and by that means influence man and even
try to enter and possess or at least entirely control him.
The rule in Yoga is not to let the depression depress
you, to stand back from it, observe its cause and remove
the cause. The Yogi should look on all the defects of
the nature as movements of the lower prakriti common
to all and reject them calmly, firmly and persistently
with full confidence in the Divine Power. However
hard the fight, the only thing is to fight it out now and
here to the end.
The goal of Yoga is always hard to reach, but this one
is more difficult than any other, and it is only for those
who have the call, the capacity, the willingness to face
everything and every risk, even the risk of failure, and
the will to progress towards an entire selflessness, desire-
lessness and surrender.
All the ordinary vital movements are foreign to the
true being and come* from outside; they do not belong
to the soul nor do they originate in it but are waves from
the general Nature.
74 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
When one lives in the true consciousness one feels the
desires outside oneself, entering from outside, from the
universal lower Prakriti, into the mind and the vital
Demand and desire are only two different aspects of
the same thing. Demand or desire comes from the
mental or the vital, but a psychic or spiritual need is a
different thing. The psychic does not demand or desire
it aspires; it does not make conditions for its surrender
or withdraw if its aspiration is not immediately satisfied
for the psychic has the complete trust in the Divine
or in the Guru and can wait for the right time or the
hour of the Divine Grace.
The supramental realisation is much more difficult
and exacting in its conditions and the most difficult of
all is to bring it down to the physical level.
You should not rely on anything else alone, however
helpful it may seem, but chiefly, primarily, fundamentally
on the Mother's Force. The sun and the Light may
be a help but cannot take the place of the Mother's
Our object is the supramental realisation and we have
to do whatever is necessary for that or towards that
under the conditions of each stage. At present the
necessity is to prepare the physical consciousness; for
that a complete equality and peace and a complete
dedication free from personal demand or desire in the
physical and the lower vital parts are the thing to be
PROCESS OF SADHANA 75
established. Other tilings can come in their proper
time. What is needed now is the psychic opening in the
physical consciousness and the constant presence and
guidance there. It is this material consciousness into
which we are seeking to bring first the higher Light and
Power and Ananda, and then the Supramental Truth
which is the object of our Yoga.
By remaining physically open to the Mother, all that
is necessary for work or sadhana develops progressively,
that is one of the chief secrets, the central secret of the
To practise Yoga implies the will to overcome all
attachments and turn to the Divine alone. The principal
thing in the Yoga is to trust in the Divine Grace at every
step, to direct the thought continually to the Divine and
to offer oneself till the being opens and the Mother's
force can be felt working in the Adhara.
To remain open to the Mother is to remain always
quiet and happy and confident not restless, not grieving
or despondent, to let her force work in you, guide you,
give you knowledge, give you peace and Ananda.
It is by the constant remembrance that the being is
prepared for the full opening. By the opening of the
heart the Mother's presence begins to be felt and, by
the opening to her Power above, the Force of the higher
consciousness comes down into the body and works
there to change the whole nature.
76 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The direct opening of the psychic centre is easy only
when the ego-centricity is greatly diminished and also
if there is a strong bhakti for the Mother. A spiritual
humility and sense of submission and dependence is
To be a Yogi, a Sannyasi, a Tapaswi is not the object
here. The object is transformation, and the transfor-
mation can only be done by a force infinitely greater
than your own; it can only be done by being truly like
a child in the hands of the Divine Mother.
The effort demanded of the sadhak is that of aspiration,
rejection and surrender. If these three are done the rest
is to come of itself by the Grace of the Mother and the
working of her force in you. But of the three the most
important is surrender of which the first necessary form
is trust and confidence and patience in difficulty.
Nothing can be done except through the force of the
Mother. All has to be done by the working of the Mother's
force aided by your aspiration, devotion and surrender.
'X* is probably making two mistakes first, expecting
outward expressions of love from the Mother; second,
looking for progress instead of concentrating on openness
and surrender without demand of a return. These are
two mistakes which sadhaks are constantly making. If
PROCESS OF SADHANA 77
one opens, if one surrenders, then as soon as the nature is
ready, progress will come of itself; but the personal con-
centration for progress brings difficulties and resistance
and disappointment because the mind is not looking at
things from the right angle.
The sadhaks who enter the Yoga are human beings and
if they were not allowed a human approach at the begin-
ning and long after, they would not be able to start the
Yoga or would not be able to continue it. But the human
approach to the Divine should not be constantly turned
into a human revolt and reproach against it.
The power needed in Yoga is the power to go through
effort, difficulty or trouble without getting fatigued,
depressed, discouraged or impatient and without breaking
off the effort or giving up one's aim or resolution. A quiet
vigilant but undistressed persistence is the best way to
get the sadhana done.
It is because the vital is restless and full of desires that
it is like that. Also the physical mind is by no means at
rest. If the desires were thrown out and the ego less active
and the physical mind at rest, knowledge would come from
above fn place of the physical mind's stupidities, the vital
mind could be calm and quiet and the Mother's Force
78 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
take up the action and the higher consciousness begin to
The tendency to inquire and know is in itself good, but
it must be kept under control. What is needed for pro-
gress in sadhana is gained best by increase of consciousness
and experience and of intuitive knowledge.
The pressure and help of the Mother's Force is always
there. Your rapidity of progress depends upon your
keeping yourself open to it and rejecting calmly, quietly
and steadily all suggestions and invasions of other forces.
Especially the nervous excitement of the vital has to be
rejected; a calm and quiet strength in the nervous being
and the body is the only sound basis.
These are the main conditions of preparation for the
supramental change, but none of them is easy, and they
must be complete before the Adhara can be said to be
ready. If the true attitude (psychic, unegoistic, open only
to the Divine Force) can be established, then the process
can go on much more quickly:
i. Get the psychic being in the front and keep it
there, putting its power on the mind, vital and physical,
so that it shall communicate to them its force of* single
minded aspiration, trust, faith, surrender, direct and im-
PROCESS OF SADHANA 79
mediate detection of whatever is wrong in them and turned
towards ego and error, away from Light and Truth.
2. Eliminate egoism in all its forms and from every
movement of the consciousness.
3. Develop the cosmic consciousness let j:he ego-
centric outlook disappear in wideness, impersonality,
the sense of the cosmic divine, the perception of the
universal force, the realisation and understanding of the
cosmic manifestation, the play.
4. Find in place of ego the true being a portion of the
Divine, issued from the World-Mother and an instrument
of the manifestation. This sense of being a portion of
the Divine and an instrument should be free from all
pride, sense of claim of ego or assertion of superiority,
demand or desire. For if these elements are there, then
it is not the true thing.
5. Most in doing Yoga live in the mind, vital, physical,
lit up occasionally or to some extent by the higher mind
and by the illumined mind; but to prepare for the supra-
mental change, it is necessary to open up to the intuition
and the overmind, so that these may make the Adhara
jready for the supramental change. Allow the conscious-
ness quietly to develop and widen and the knowledge of
these things will progressively come.
6. Calm, discrimination, detachment (but not indiffer-
ence) are all very important, for their opposites impede
very much the transforming action. Intensity of aspira-
tion should be there, but along with these, no hurry,
no inertia neither rajasic over-eagerness nor tamasic
80 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
discouragement a steady and persistent but quiet call
and working. No snatching or clutching at realisation,
but allowing realisation to come from within and above,
and observing accurately its field, its nature, its limits.
7. Let^the power of the Mother work in you, but be
careful to avoid mixture or substitution in its place of
either a magnified ego-working or a force of ignorance
presenting itself as Truth. Aspire especially for the
elimination of all obscurity and unconsciousness in the
The Mother :
The question you are to answer is this : Do you
want the Yoga for the sake of the Divine ? Is the Divine
the supreme fact of your life, so much so that it is simply
impossible for you to do without it ? Do you feel that
your very raison d'etre is the Divine and without it there
is no meaning in your existence ? If so, then only can it
be said that you have a call for the path.
Aspiration for the Divine is the first thing necessary,
'the next thing you have to do is to tend it, to keep it
always alert and awake and living. And for that what is
required is concentration concentration upon the Divine
with a view to an integral and absolute consecration to
its Will and Purpose.
Concentrate in the heart. Enter into it; go within and
deep and far, as far as you can. Gather all the strings of
PROCESS OF SADHANA 8 1
your consciousness that are spread abroad, roll them up
and take a plunge and sink down. A fire is burning there,
in the deep quietude of the heart. It is the divinity
in you your true being. Hear its voice, follow its dictates.
To prepare oneself for the Yoga, one should be con-
scious, first of all. We are conscious of only an insignificant
portion of our being; for the most part we are unconscious.
It is this unconsciousness that keeps us down to our
unregenerate nature and prevents change and trans-
formation in it. It is through unconsciousness that the
undivine forces enter into us and make us their slaves.
You are to be conscious of yourself; that is to say, reso-
lutely reject one and accept the other. The duality will
present itself at every step and at every step you will
have to make your choice. You will have to be patient
and persistent and vigilant.
Yoga does become dangerous if you want it for your
own sake, to serve a personal end. Dangers and diffi-
culties come in when people take up Yoga, not for the
sake of the Divine, but because they want to acquire
power and under the guise of Yoga seek to satisfy some
ambition. If you cannot get rid of ambition, do not
touch the thing. It is fire that burns.
There are two paths of Yoga, one of tapasya (discipline)
and the other of surrender. The path of tapasya is
arduous, the path of surrender is safe and sure.
If you take up this path of surrender fully and sincerely,
there is no more danger or serious difficulty. The question
is to be sincere. If you are not sincere, do not begin
82 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Yoga. The first effect of Yoga, however, is to take away
the mental control, and the hungers that lie dormant are
suddenly set free, they rush up and invade the being.
So long as this mental control has not been replaced
by the Divine control, there is a period of transition when
your sincerity and surrender will be put to test.
The impulses and desires that come up by the pressure
of Yoga should be faced in a spirit of detachment and
serenity, as something foreign to yourself or belonging
to the outside world. They should be offered to the
Divine, so that the Divine may take them up and
If you have once opened yourself to the Divine, if
the power of the Divine has once come down into you
and yet you try to keep to the old forces, you prepare
troubles and difficulties and dangers for yourself. You
must be vigilant and see that you do not use the Divine
as a cloak for the satisfaction of your desires.
So long as you belong to humanity and so long as
you lead the ordinary life, it does not matter much if
you mix with the people of the world ; but if you want
the divine life, you will have to be exceedingly careful
about your company and your environment. The whole
world is full of the poison. You take it in with every
breath. You can lose in a few minutes what it has taken
you months to gain.
It is always wrong to display powers. This does
not mean that there is no use for them. But they have
to be used in the same way as they came. They come
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 83
by union with the Divine. They must be used by the
will of the Divine and not for display.
To enter the spiritual life means to take a plunge
into the Divine, as you would jump into the sea. And
that is not the end but the very beginning; for after
you have taken the plunge, you must learn to live in the
Divine. That is the plunge you have to take, and unless
you do it, you may do Yoga for years and yet know
nothing of a true spiritual living.
Yoga means union with the Divine, and the union
is effected through offering it is founded on the offering
of yourself to the Divine. When the resolution has
been taken, when you have decided that the whole of
your life shall be given to the Divine, you have still
at every moment to remember it and carry it out in all
the details of your existence.
In the beginning of the Yoga you are apt to forget the
Divine very often. But by constant aspiration you
increase your remembrance and you diminish the forget-
fulness. But this should not be done as a severe disci-
pline or a duty ; it must be a movement of love and joy.
THIS Yoga demands a total dedication of the life to
the aspiration for the discovery and embodiment of
84 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the Divine Truth and to nothing else whatsoever.
You must go inside yourself and enter into a complete
dedication to the spiritual life. All clinging to mental
preferences must fall away from you, all insistence on
vital aims and interests and attachments must be put
away, all egoistic clinging to family, friends, country
must disappear if you want to succeed in Yoga.
The ways of the Divine are not like those of the
human mind or according to our patterns and it is
impossible to judge them or to lay down for Him what
He shall or shall not do, for the Divine knows better
than we can know. Not to impose one's mind and vital
will on the Divine but to receive the Divine's will and
follow it, is the true attitude of sadhana.
Fix upon your mind and heart the resolution to live
for the Divine Truth and for that alone ; reject all that
is contrary and incompatible with it and turn away from
the lower desires ; aspire to open yourself to the Divine
Power and to no other. Do this in all sincerity and the
present and living help you need will not fail you.
The necessities of a sadhaka should be as few as pos-
sible; for there are only a very few things that are real
necessities in life. The rest are either utilities or things
decorative to life or luxuries.
These, a Yogin has a right to possess or enjoy only on
one of two conditions :
(a) if he uses them during his sadhana solely to train
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 85
himself in possessing things without attachment or
desire and learn to use them rightly, in harmony with
the Divine Will, with a proper handling, a just organisa-
tion, arrangement and measure,
(b) if he has already attained a true freedom from desire
and attachment and is not in the least moved or affected
in any way by loss or withholding or deprival. If he
has any greed, desire, demand, claim for possession or
enjoyment, any anxiety, grief, anger or vexation when
denied or deprived, he is not free in spirit and his use of
the things he possesses is contrary to the spirit of sadhana.
Even if he is free in spirit, he will not be fit for possession
if he has not learned to use things not for himself, but
for the Divine Will, as an instrument, with the right
knowledge and action in the use, for the proper equip-
ment of a life lived not for oneself but for and in the Divine.
To remain within, above and untouched, full of the
inner consciousness and the inner experience, listening
when need be to one or another with the surface conscious-
ness, but with even that undisturbed, not either pulled
outwards or invaded that is the perfect condition for
Care should be taken that there should be no ambitious
or selfish misuse, no pride or vanity, no sense of supe-
riority, no claim or egoism of the instrument, only a
86 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
simple and pure psychic instrumentation of the nature
in any way in which it is fit for the service of the Divine.
Take with you the peace and quietude and joy and keep
it by remembering always the Divine.
A mere restless dissatisfaction with the ordinary life
is not a sufficient preparation for this Yoga. A positive
inner call, a strong will and a great steadiness are neces-
sary for success in the spiritual life.
Live always as if you were under the very eye of the
Supreme and of the Divine Mother. Do nothing, try to
think and feel nothing that would be unworthy of the
It is not Yoga to give free play to the natural instincts
and desires. Yoga demands mastery over the nature, not
subjection to the nature.
It is the past habit of the vital that makes you repeatedly
go out into the external part; you must persist and estab-
lish the opposite habit of living in your inner being
which is your true being and of looking at everything
from there. This Yoga is not of world-shunning ascetic-
ism, but of divine life.
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 87
Follow always the one rule, to open yourself directly
to the Divine Force and not to others; if you keep in touch
with it, all else will progressively arrange itself.
But in order that it may go on developing, you must
become more and more quiet, more and more able to hold
whatever comes without getting too eager and excited.
Peace and calmness are the first thing in the peace
you can bear whatever love, Ananda, strength or know-
Truth in speech and truth in thought are very impor-
A spiritual atmosphere is more important than outer
conditions; if one can get that and also create one's own
spiritual air to breathe in and live in it, that is the true
condition of progress.
The Mother is always near and within, it is only the
obscurity of mind and vital that does not see or feel it.
That is a knowledge which the mind of a sadhaka ought
to hold firmly.
If a sadhaka does anything wrong inwardly or out-
wardly, it creates a wrong influence in the atmosphere
of the Ashram and opens the gates to the hostile Powers.
88 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The feeling that all one does is from the Divine, that all
action is the Mother's is a necessary step in experience,
but one cannot remain in it one has to go farther. Those
can remain in it who do not want to change the nature
but only to have experience of the Truth behind it.
One can be a conscious and perfect instrument only
when one is no longer acting in obedience to the ignorant
push of the lower nature but in surrender to the Mother
and aware of her higher Force acting within oneself.
One must be vigilant, but not anxious and uneasy.
The Mother's Force will act and bring the result in its
own time, provided one offers all to her and aspires
and is vigilant, calling and remembering her at all times,
rejecting quietly all that stands in the way of the action
of her transforming Force.
There should be not only a general attitude, but each
work should be offered to the Mother so as to keep the
attitude a living one all the time. There should be at the
time of work no meditation, for that would withdraw the
attention from the work, but there should be the constant
memory of the One to whom you offer it. This is only a
first process. When you begin to feel always that it is the
Mother's force that is doing the work and you are only a
channel or an instrument, then in place of memory there
will have begun the automatic constant realisation of
Yoga, divine union, in works.
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 89
Not only in your inward concentration, but in your
outward acts and movements you must take the right
attitude. If you do that and put everything under the
Mother's guidance, you will find the difficulties begin to
diminish or are much more easily got over and things
become steadily smoother.
Demands should not be made; what you receive freely
from the Mother helps you; what you demand or try to
impose on her is bound to be empty of her force.
If vanity, ambition and self-conceit stand in your way,
cast them from you. You will not get rid of these things
by merely waiting for them to disappear. If you merely
wait for things to happen, there is no reason why they
should happen at all.
Once one has entered the path of Yoga, there is only
one thing to do, to fix oneself in the resolution to go to
the end whatever happens, whatever difficulties arise.
None really gets the fulfilment in Yoga by his own
capacity it is by the greater Force that stands over
you that it will come and it is the call, persistent through
all vicissitudes, to the Force, by which the fulfilment
will come. Even when you cannot aspire actively, keep
yourself turned to the Mother for the help to come that
is the one thing to do always.
90 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my
Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can "do"
the Purna Yoga i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the
Yoga by one's own effort. No human being can do that.
What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother's
hands and open oneself to her by service, by bhakti, by
aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works
in him so that the sadhana is done. It is a mistake also
to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supra-
mental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards
that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the
Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be.
The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.
There is one thing everybody should remember that
everything should be done from the point of view of
Yoga, of sadhana, of growing into a divine life in the
Mother's consciousness. To insist upon one's own mind
and its ideas, to allow oneself to be governed by one's
own vital feelings and reactions should not be the rule
of life here. One has to stand back from these, to be
detached, to get in their place the true knowledge from
above, the true feelings from the psychic within. This
cannot be done if the mind and vital do not surrender,,
if they do not renounce their attachment to their own
ignorance which they call truth, right, justice. All the
trouble rises from that; if that were overcome, the
true basis of life, of work, of harmony, of all in the
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 9*
union with the Divine would more and more replace
the trouble and difficulty of the present.
Our incapacity does not matter there is no human
being who is not in his parts of nature incapable but
the Divine Force is also there. If one puts one's trust
in that, incapacity will be changed into capacity. Diffi-
culties and struggles themselves then become a means
towards the achievement.
It is when there is no attachment to outward things
for their own sake and all is only for the Mother and
the life through the inner psychic being is centred in
her that the best condition is created for the spiritual
Those who are not straightforward cannot profit
by the Mother's help, for they themselves turn it away.
Unless they change, they cannot hope for the descent
of the supramental Light and Truth into the lower vital
and physical nature ; they remain stuck in their own
self-created mud and cannot progress.
One rule for you I can lay down, "Do not do, say or
think anything which you would want to conceal from
We must find the Self, the Divine, then only can we
know what is the work .the Self or the Divine demands
from us. Until then our life and action can only be a
?2 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
help or means towards finding the Divine and it ought
not to have any other purpose. But to decide before-
hand by our limited mental conceptions what they must
be is to hamper the growth of the spiritual Truth within.
The first necessity is the practice of concentration of
your consciousness within yourself. The ordinary
human mind has an activity on the surface which veils
the real Self. But there is another, a hidden conscious-
ness within behind the surface one in which we can
become aware of the real Self and of a larger, deeper
truth of nature, can realise the Self and liberate and
transform the nature. To quiet the surface mind and
begin to live within is the object of this concentration.
To concentrate in the heart centre with the offering
of oneself to the Divine and the aspiration for this
inward opening and for the Presence in the heart is the
first way and, if it can be done, the natural beginning ;
for its result once obtained makes the spiritual path
far more easy and safe than if one begins the other way
but to begin with the heart centre, if one can do it,
is the more desirable.
One must say "Since I want 'only the Divine, my
success is sure, I have only to walk forward in all con-
fidence and His own Hand will be there secretly leading
me to Him by His own way and at His own time".
That is what you must keep as your constant mantra.
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 93
As for the way out of the impasse you speak of, I
know only of the quieting of the mind which makes
meditation effective, purification of the heart which
brings the Divine touch and in time the Divine Presence*
humility before the Divine which liberates from egoism
and pride of the mind and of the vital. What I have
said is that you should not expect the Divine or insist
on it at once or within an early time. It can come early
or it can come late, but come it will if one is faithful in
Harmony and not strife is the law of yogic living. The
aim here is fulfilment of the Divine in Life and for that,
union and solidarity are indispensable. All jealousy, strife,,
hatred, aversion, rancour and other evil vital feelings
should be abandoned as they can be no part of the spiri-
tual life. So, also, all egoistic love and attachment will
have to disappear the love that loves only for the ego's
sake and, as soon as the ego is hurt and dissatisfied, ceases
to love or even cherishes rancour and hate. It is under-
stood of course that such things as sexual impurity must
The things that have to be established are:
Brahmacharya, complete sex-purity; Shamah, quiet and
harmony in the being, its forces maintained but con-
trolled, harmonised, disciplined; Satyam, truth and
sincerity in the whole nature; Prashantih, a general state
94 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
of peace and calm; Atmasamyama, the power ,and habit
to control whatever needs control in the movements of
the nature. When these are fairly established, one has
laid the foundation on which one can develop the Yoga
consciousness and with the Yoga consciousness there
comes an easy opening to realisation and experience. A
Yoga like this needs patience, because it means a change
both of the radical motives and of each part and detail
of the nature.
Meditation is only a means or device, the true move-
ment is when even walking, working and speaking, one
is still in sadhana.
You must remain and grow always more and more
deeply quiet and still both in yourself and in your attitude
to the world around you. If you can do this, the sadhana
is likely to go on progressing and enlarging itself with a
minimum of trouble and disturbance.
You must gather yourself within more firmly. If you
disperse yourself constantly, go out of the inner circle,
you will constantly move about in the pettiness of the
ordinary outer nature and under the influences to which
it is open. Learn to live within, to act always from within,
from a constant communion with the Mother. You
must persist and establish the habit of living in your
inner being which is your true being and of looking at
everything from there.
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 95
The Mother's presence is always there; but if you
decide to act on your own your own idea, your own
notion of things, your own will and demand upon things,
then it is quite likely that her presence will get veiled;
it is not she who withdraws from you, but you who draw
back from her. But your mind and vital don't want to
admit that, because it is always their preoccupation to
justify their own movements. If the psychic were allowed
its full predominance, this would not happen.
It is not advisable to cut oneself off from mixing with
people altogether. You must remain in the higher con-
sciousness even when with people.
Keep your aspiration strong and sincere and call in the
Divine in each thing and at each moment for support
and in all that you feel keep yourself open to us. That is
the easiest way to the Divine.
Do not dwell much on the defects of others. It is not
helpful. Keep always quiet and peace in the attitude.
Quarrels and clashes are a proof of the absence of the
Yogic poise and those who seriously wish to do Yoga must
learn to grow out of these things. It is easy enough not
96 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
to clash when there is no cause for strife or dispute or
quarrel; it is when there is cause and the other side is
impossible and unreasonable that one gets the opportu-
nity of rising above one's vital nature.
Efface the stamp of ego from the heart and let the love
of the Mother take its place. Cast from the mind all in-
sistence on your personal ideas and judgment, then you
will have the wisdom to understand her. Let there be no
obsession of self-will, ego-drive in the action, love of per-
sonal authority, attachment to personal preference, then
the Mother's force will be able to act clearly in you and
you will get the inexhaustible energy for which you ask
and your service will be perfect.
All should be done quietly from within working,,
speaking, reading, writing as part of the real conscious-
ness n ot with the dispersed and unquiet movement of
the ordinary consciousness. If you are troubled by failure
or excited by success, that also you should overcome.
If one has the close inner relation, one feels the Mother
always near and within and around and there is no insis-
tence on the closer physical relation for its own sake.... If
they get the outer closeness, they will find that it means
nothing without the inner oneness and closeness. One
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 97
may be physically near the Mother and yet as far from
her as the Sahara desert.
If any sadhaka refuses in practice to admit this change
or if he refuses even to admit the necessity for any change
of his lower vital being and his habitual external perso-
nality, I am entitled to conclude that whatever his pro-
fessions he has not accepted either myself or my Yoga.
Whatever the difficulties of the nature, however long
and painful the process of dealing with them, they cannot
stand to the end against the Truth, if there is or if there
comes in these parts the true spirit, attitude and endea-
vour. But if a sadhaka continues out of self-esteem and
self-will or out of tamasic inertia to shut his eyes or
harden his heart against the Light, so long as he does
that, no one can help him. The consent of all the being is
necessary for the divine change, and it is the complete-
ness and fullness of the consent that constitutes the
integral surrender. But the consent of the lower vital
must not be only a mental profession or a passing emo-
tional adhesion; it must translate itself into an abiding
attitude and a persistent and constant action.
There is a general protection around all the disciples,
but most go out of it by their attitude, thoughts and
actions or open the way to other forces.
98 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
When you come to the Divine, you must abandon all
mental conceptions; but, instead of doing that, you throw
your conceptions upon the Divine and want the Divine
to obey them. The only true attitude for a Yogi is to be
plastic and ready to obey the Divine command whatever
it may be; nothing must be indispensable to him, nothing
a burden. Often the first impulse of those who want to
live the spiritual life is to throw away all they have; but
they do it because they want to be rid of a burden, not
because they want to surrender to the Divine. Men
who possess wealth and are surrounded by the things
that give them luxury and enjoyment turn to the Divine,
and immediately their movement is to run away from
these things and escape from their bondage. But it is a
wrong movement; you must not think that the things
you have belong to you, they belong to the Divine.
If the Divine wants you to enjoy anything, enjoy it; but
be ready too to give it up the very next moment with a
If we allow a falsehood, however small, to express itself
through our mouth or our pen, how can we hope to
become perfect messengers of Truth? A perfect servant
of Truth should [abstain even from the slightest inexacti-
tude, exaggeration or deformation.
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 99
Do not worry about the reactions of people however
unpleasant they may be the vital is everywhere and in
everybody full of impurities and the physical full of
unconsciousness. These two imperfections have to be
cured, however long ft may take, and we have only to
work at it patiently and courageously.
The force was acting chiefly in the mind, the vital
and, through it, in the physical. It has come further
down in its action and now it is at work not only in the
material but also in the subconscient and even in the
inconscient. Unless you follow this descending movement
and allow the force to act in your body and the material
regions of the consciousness, you will find yourself strand-
ed on the road without being able to advance any further.
And now to allow this working of the force, it is detailed
surrender of all movements, habits, tastes, preferences,
sense of necessities etc., that is urgently required.
He who wants to advance on the path of perfection
must never complain of the difficulties on the way; for
each one is an opportunity for a new progress. To com-
plain is a sign of weakness and of insincerity.
The secret of this attainment of perfection lies in the
sincere urge for it. In one's action one must be free
from all social conventions, all moral prejudices. All
IOO A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
physical activities should be organised entirely in such a
way as to make the body grow in balance and force and
beauty. With this end in view one must abstain from all
pleasure-seeking including the sexual pleasure. For each
sexual act is a step towards death.
Indeed one who wants to prepare for the supramental
life should never allow his consciousness to slip down to
dissipation and inconscience under the pretext of enjoy-
ment or even rest and relaxation. The relaxation should
be into force and light and not into darkness and weakness.
The two cannot go together; at every minute you have
to decide whether you wish to remain within the man-
hood of yesterday or belong to the supermanhood of
tomorrow. You must refuse to be moulded according
to the life as it is and be successful in it, if you want to
prepare for the life as it shall be and become its active and
efficient member. You must deny yourself pleasures, if
you wish to be open to the joy of living in integral beauty
The senses should be able to bear everything without
disgust or displeasure; at the same time they must acquire
and develop more and more the power of discrimination
with regard to the quality, origin and result of various
vital vibrations and so know whether these are helpful to
SADHAK'S ATTITUDE 101
the poise and progress of the physical and vital being.
Moreover, the senses should be utilised as instruments
to approach and study the physical and vital worlds in all
their complexities. Sensations are an excellent instrument
for knowledge and education. To make them serve
this purpose, they should not be used with an egoistic
purpose, as a means of enjoyment, in a blind and ignorant
seeking for pleasure and self-satisfaction.
It is by enlightening, strengthening and purifying the
vital and not by weakening it that one can help towards
the true progress of the being. To deprive oneself of sensa-
tions is as harmful as depriving oneself of food. But in
the same way as the choice of food must be made with
wisdom and only with a view to the growth and proper
functioning of the body, the choice of sensations also
should be made and control over them gained with a
view only to the growth and perfection of this great dyna-
mic instrument which is essential for the progress of all
other parts of the being.
Yoga is not a joke; when you choose it you must know
what you do. Once you have chosen it, you must stick
to it. You have no right to waver, you must go through....
To do this Yoga, the Yoga of transformation which is
the most arduous of all things, is possible only if you feel
that you have come here for that I mean here upon earth
that for you nothing else is worth doing, that this is the
very reason of your existence. Even if you have to labour.
102 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
suffer, struggle, it is of no importance; for you want that
realisation and nothing else.
Once you have set your foot on the path of Yoga, you
must have an iron resolution and walk straight to the
goal at any cost....
If you abandon the path, it is difficult even to find it
again. What is strange is that if you leave it you lose it.
There are legends to that effect in all countries, of people
who abandoned the path and then have been seeking it
again and have never regained it. It is as if it has vanished.
When you are on the path, do not leave it. Before
you take it, hesitate, you may hesitate as long as you
like. But as soon as you have taken it, it is finished, do
not leave it any more; for that has consequences
that may extend even to several lives. And that is
AIDS IN SADHANA
THE aspiration must be intense, calm and strong but not
restless and impatient, then alone it can be stable.
You should aspire calmly eat, sleep, do your work.
Peace is the one thing you have to ask for now it is
only on the basis of peace and calm that the true progress
and realisation can come. There must be no vital ex-
AIDS IN SADHANA IO3
citement in your seeking or your aspiration towards the
But why allow anything to come in the way between
you and the Divine, any idea, any incident ? When you
are in full aspiration and joy, let nothing count, nothing
be of any importance except the Divine and your aspira-
tion. If one wants the Divine quickly, absolutely, entirely,
that must be the spirit of approach, absolute, all-
engrossing, making that the one point with which nothing
else must interfere.
The Mother :
Grace is equally for all. But it is received according
to the sincerity of each one. It does not depend on
outward circumstances but on a sincere aspiration and
Equality is the chief support of the true spiritual
consciousness and it is this from which a Sadhaka deviates
when he allows a vital movement to carry him away in
feeling or speech or action. Equality means a quiet and
unmoved mind and vital, it means not to be touched or
disturbed by things that happen or things said or done to
104 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
you, but to look at them with a straight look, free from
the distortions created by personal feeling, and to try
to understand what is behind them, why they happen,
what is to be learnt from them, what is it in oneself
which they are cast against and what inner profit or
progress one can make out of them; it means self-mastery
over the vital movements, anger and sensitiveness
and pride as well as desire and the rest, not to let them
get hold of the emotional being and disturb the inner
peace, not to speak and act in the rush and impulsion
of these things, always to act and speak out of a calm
inner poise of the spirit.
The first condition of inner progress is to recognise
whatever is or has been a wrong movement in any part
of the nature, wrong idea, wrong feeling, wrong speech,
wrong action, and by wrong is meant what departs
from the truth, from the higher consciousness and higher
self, from the way of the Divine.
Complete samata (equality) takes long to establish and
it is dependent on three things the soul's self-giving
to the Divine by an inner surrender, the descent of the
spiritual calm and peace from above and the steady long
and persistent rejection of all egoistic, rajasic and other
feelings that contradict samata.
There can be no firm foundation in sadhana without
equality. Whatever the unpleasantness of circumstances,
however disagreeable the conduct of others, you must
AIDS IN SADHANA 105
learn to receive them with a perfect calm and without any
disturbing reaction. These things are the test of equality.
It is easy to be calm and equal when things go well and
people and circumstances are pleasant; it is when they
are the opposite that the completeness of the calm, peace,
equality can be tested, reinforced, made perfect.
No doubt, hatred and cursing are not the proper
attitude. It is true also that to look upon all things and
all people with a calm and clear vision, to be uninvolved
and impartial in one's judgments is a quite proper Yogic
attitude. A condition of perfect samata can be established
in which one sees all as equal, friends and enemies in-
cluded, and is not disturbed by what men do or by what
Equanimity and peace in all conditions, in all parts of
the being is the first foundation of the Yogic status.
Peace is the first condition without which nothing else
can be stable.
Equality means another thing to have an equal view
of men and their nature and acts and the forces that
move them; it helps one to see the Truth about them by
pushing away from the mind all personal feeling in
one's seeing and judgment and even all mental bias.
106 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
For a sadhak, to live rather in the calm strength of the
spirit is an essential part of his progress.
..You must have a strong body and strong nerves.
You must have a strong basis of equanimity in your
external being. Equanimity is the essential condition
of union and communion with the Divine. If you have
this basis, you can contain a world of emotion and yet
not have to scream it out. This does not mean that you
cannot express your emotion, but you can express it in
a beautiful, harmonious way. To weep or scream or
dance about with the descent of some kind of higher joy
or experience is always a proof of weakness, either of the
vital or the mental or the physical nature. If you have
to bear the pressure of the Divine descent, you must be
very strong and powerful, otherwise you would be shaken
to pieces. If a little drop makes you sing and dance and
scream, what would happen if the whole thing came
All feelings of shrinking and disgust and fear that
disturb and weaken the human mind can be overcome.
A Yogi has to overcome these reactions; for almost
the very first step in Yoga demands that you must keep
a perfect equanimity in the presence of all beings and
AIDS IN SADHANA IOJ
things and happenings. Always you must remain calm,
untouched and unmoved; the strength of the Yogi lies
there. An entire calmness and quietness will disarm
even dangerous and ferocious animals when they
Keep a cheerful mind and a peaceful heart. Let nothing 4
disturb your equanimity and make every day the neces-
sary progress to advance with me steadily towards the
The phrase "Blind faith" has no real meaning. I
suppose they mean they will not believe without proof
but the conclusion formed after proof is not faith,,
it is knowledge or it is a mental opinion. Faith is some-
thing which one has before proof or knowledge and it
helps you to arrive at knowledge or experience. There
is no proof that God exists but if I have faith in God,
then I can arrive at the experience of the Divine.
There are four kinds of faith : Mental faith combats
doubts and helps to open to the true knowledge; vital
faith prevents the attacks of the hostile forces or defeats
them and helps to open to the true spiritual will and action;
physical faith keeps one firm through all physical obscu-
rity, inertia or suffering and helps to open to the founda-
tion of the true consciousness; psychic faith opens to
108 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the direct touch of the Divine and helps to bring union
Faith can be tamasic and ineffective, i.e., "I believe
the Mother will do everything, so I will do nothing.
When she wants, she will transform me." That is not a
dynamic but a static and inert faith.
The faith in spiritual things that is asked of the sadhak
is not an ignorant but a luminous faith, a faith in light and
not in darkness. It is called blind by the sceptical intellect
because it refuses to be guided by outer appearances or
Faith does not depend upon experience; it is something
that is there before experience. When one starts the
Yoga, it*is not usually on the strength of experience, but
on the strength of faith. It is so not only in Yoga and
the spiritual life, but in ordinary life also. All men of
action, discoverers, inventors, creators of knowledge
proceed by faith and, until the proof is made or the thing
done, they go on in spite of disappointment, failure,
disproof, denial because of something in them that tells
them that this is the truth, the thing that must be followed
Faith is a certitude in the soul which does not depend
on reasoning, on this or that mental idea, on circum-
AIDS IN SADHANA 113
As a rule the only mantra used in this sadhana is that
of the Mother or of my name and the Mother's. The
concentration in the heart and the concentration in the
head can both be used each has its own result.
There is no method in this Yoga except to concentrate,
preferably in the heart, and call the presence and power
of the Mother to take up the being and by the workings
of her force transform the consciousness. When the
mind falls quiet and the concentration becomes strong
and the aspiration intense, then there is a beginning of
experience. The more the faith, the more rapid the
result is likely to be.
When one tries to meditate, there is pressure to go
inside, lose the waking consciousness and wake inside>
in a deep inner consciousness. But at first the mind
takes it for a pressure to go to sleep, since sleep is the
only kind of inner consciousness to which it has been
accustomed. In yoga by meditation sleep is therefore
often the first difficulty but if one perseveres, then
gradually the sleep changes to an inner conscious state.
There is no necessity of losing consciousness when you
meditate. It is the widening and change of the
consciousness that is essential.
114 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
In order to have Dhyana, the restlessness of the
mind must be utterly settled, the intellect must become
like a calm and waveless sea, not a ripple on its surface.
The distinguishing feature of Dhyana is that it puts out
a steady force of knowledge on the object of knowledge.
Concentration is a gathering together of the conscious-
ness and either centralising at one point or turning on a
single object, e.g., the Divine ; there can also be a gathered
condition throughout the whole being, not at a point.
In meditation it is not indispensable to gather like this,
one can simply remain with a quiet mind thinking of
one subject or observing what comes in the consciousness
and dealing with it....
Concentration means fixing the consciousness in one
place or on one object and in a single condition. Medi-
tation can be diffusive, e.g., thinking about the Divine,
receiving impressions and discriminating, watching
what goes on in the nature and acting upon it etc.
The best help for concentration is to receive the
Mother's calm and peace into your mind. It is there
above you only the mind and its centres have to open
It is to remain qtiiet at the time of meditation, not
fighting with the mind or making mental efforts to pull
down the Power or the Silence but keeping only a silent
will and aspiration for them. If the mind is active, one
has to learn to look at it, draw back and not giving any
AIDS IN SADHANA 115
sanction from within, until its habitual or mechanical
activities begin to fall quiet for want of support from
within. If it is too persistent, a steady rejection without
strain or struggle is the one thing to be done.
The two main places where one can centre the con-
sciousness for Yoga are in the head and in the heart.
The sitting motionless posture is the natural posture for
concentrated meditation walking and standing are active
conditions. One can accustom oneself to meditate walk-
ing, standing, lying but sitting is the first natural position.
It is better to make the deeper concentration when
you are alone or quiet. Outward sounds ought not to
disturb you. The concentration is in its nature quiet
and steady. If there is restlessness or over-eagerness,
then that is not concentration.
There are always two things that can rise up and assail
the silence, vital suggestions, the physical mind's
mechanical recurrences. Calm rejection for both is the
cure. One can remain separate and see the thoughts
and imaginations pass without being affected, but that
is not being plunged or engrossed in meditation.
You have asked what is the discipline to be followed
in order to convert the mental seeking into a living
spiritual experience. The first necessity is the practice
of concentration of your consciousness within yourself.
Il6 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The ordinary human mind has an activity on the surface
which veils the real self. But there is another, a hidden
consciousness within behind the surface one in which we
can become aware of the real self and of a larger deeper
truth of nature, can realise the self and liberate and
transform the nature. To quiet the surface mind and
begin to live within is the object of this concentration.
Of this true consciousness other than the superficial
there are two main centres, one in the heart (not the
physical heart but the cardiac centre in the middle of
the chest,) one in the head. The concentration in the
heart opens within and by following this inward opening
and going deep one becomes aware of the soul or psychic
being, the divine element in the individual. This being
unveiled begins to come forward, to govern the nature,
to turn it and all its movements towards the Truth, to-
wards the Divine, and to call down into it all that is above.
It brings the consciousness of the Presence, the dedica-
tion of the being to the Highest and invites the descent
into our nature of a greater Force and Consciousness
which is waiting above us. To concentrate in the heart
centre with the offering of oneself to the Divine and
the aspiration for this inward opening and for the Presence
in the heart is the first way and, if it can be done, the
natural beginning; for its result once obtained makes
the spiritual path far more easy and safe than if one
begins the other way....
Finally, in all difficulties where personal effort is
hampered the help of the Teacher can intervene and
AIDS IN SADHANA 1 17
bring about what is needed for the realisation or for
the immediate step that is necessary.
Concentration is necessary, first, to turn the whole
will and mind from the discursive divagation natural
to them, following a dispersed movement of the thoughts,
running after many-branching desires, led away in the
track of the senses and the outward mental response to
phenomena : we have to fix the will and the thought on
the eternal and real behind all, and this demands an im-
mense effort, a one-pointed concentration. Secondly, it
is necessary in order to break down the veil which is
erected by our ordinary mentality between ourselves
and the truth; for our knowledge can be picked up
by the way, by ordinary attention and reception, but the
inner, hidden and higher truth can only be seized by an
absolute concentration of the mind on its object, an
absolute concentration of the will to attain it and, once
attained, to hold it habitually and securely unite oneself
The Mother :
The number of hours spent in meditation is no proof
of spiritual progress. It is a proof of your progress when
you no longer have to make an effort to meditate. Then
you have rather to make an effort to stop meditation : it
Il8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
becomes difficult to stop meditation, difficult to stop
thinking of the Divine, difficult to come down to the
ordinary consciousness. Then you are sure of your pro-
gress, then you have made real progress when concentra-
tion in the Divine is the necessity of your life, when you
cannot do without it, when it continues naturally from
morning to night, whatever you may be engaged in
doing. What is required of you is consciousness; to be
constantly conscious of the Divine. If you need to
make an effort to go into meditation, you are still very
far from being able to live the spiritual life. The
final aim is to be in constant union with the Divine,
not only in meditation but in all circumstances and
in all the active life.
Collective meditation is not desirable. I do not approve
of it. It brings more troubles. It is not safe, so it is
better that it is dropped....
Yes, if one has to say something or tell or talk or to
read something from the Mother or Sri Aurobindo or
somebody explains the works of Sri Aurobindo and the
Mother, it is all right that you meet together and remain
together, but not to meditate.
The meditation can be collective and it is very good
and it energises a great force, but it is only when the
members who collect together for the meditation are
single-minded, in full harmony and co-operation, they are
together for one single ideal, one and not divided all
AIDS IN SADHANA 1 19
as one block or one single unit. That too not many but a
selected few. It is most important to have an inner
vision and discrimination in choosing people for
It is a meditation which has the power to transform
your being, a meditation which is progressive. Usually
people do not have a dynamic meditation. When they
enter into what they call meditation, it is a kind of immobi-
lity in which nothing changes; they come out of it just
as they entered into it, without any progress either in their
being or in their consciousness. They could meditate
in this way for eternities and it would bring no change
either in themselves or in the universe. That is why
Sri Aurobindo speaks of dynamic meditation, for it is
just the contrary : it is transforming meditation.
The first thing to do in the sadhana is to get a settled
peace and silence in the mind. Otherwise you may have
experiences, but nothing will be permanent. It is in the
silent mind that the true consciousness can be built....
The forces that stand in the way of sadhana are the
forces of the lower mental, vital and physical nature.
Behind them are adverse powers of the mental, vital and
subtle physical worlds. These can be dealt with only
I2O A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
after the mind and heart have become one-pointed and
concentrated in the single aspiration to the Divine....
Aspire to the Mother for this settled quietness and calm
of the mind and this constant sense of the inner being in
you standing back from the external nature and turned to
the Light and Truth....
The important thing is to get rid of the habit of the
invasion of troubling thoughts, wrong feelings, confusion
of ideas, unhappy movements. These disturb the nature
and cloud it and make it difficult for the Force to work;
when the mind is quiet and at peace, the Force can work
Aspire for the rest of the divine consciousness, but with
a calm and deep aspiration. It can be ardent as well as
calm, but not impatient, restless or full of rajasic eager-
ness. Remain quiet, open yourself and call the divine
Shakti to confirm the calm and peace, to widen the con-
sciousness and to bring into it as much light and power
as it can receive and assimilate. Take care not to be
over-eager, as this may disturb such quiet and balance
as has been already established in the vital nature.
To remain quiet within, firm in the will to go through,
refusing to be disturbed or discouraged by difficulties
or fluctuations, that is one of the first things* to be learned
in the path.
AIDS IN SADHANA 121
Here as elsewhere, quiet is the first thing needed, to
keep the consciousness quiet, not allow it to get agitated
and in turmoil. Then in the quiet to call for the Force
to clear up all this obscurity and change it.
To develop in the physical itself a constant will for
the drawing down of the higher consciousness especially
the Peace and Force from above, is the best way out of it.
The one thing that is most needed for this sadhana is
peace, calm, especially in the vital a peace which
depends not on circumstances or surroundings but on the
inner contact with a higher consciousness which is the
consciousness of the Divine, of the Mother. Those who
have not that or do not aspire to get it can come here
and live in the Ashram for ten or twenty years and yet
be as restless and full of struggle as ever, those who
open their minds and vital to the Mother's strength
and peace get it even in the hardest and most unpleasant
work and the worst circumstances.
A quiet mind and a quiet vital are the first conditions
for success in sadhana.
122 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Mother :
The Divine Consciousness is at work to transform you
and you must open to it in order to let it work freely
in you. Be quiet always, calm, peaceful and let the
Force work in your consciousness through the transpa-
rency of a perfect sincerity.
It is only in quietness and peace that one can know
what is the best thing to do.
Establish a greater peace and quietness in your body>
that will give you the strength to resist attacks of illness.
Increase the inner rest, it must become a rest always
present even in the midst of the greatest activity and so
steady that nothing has the power to shake it and
then you will become a perfect instrument for the
Be very careful to remain always calm and peaceful
and let an integral equanimity establish itself more
and more completely in your being. Do not allow your
mind to be too active and to live in a turmoil, do not
jump to conclusions from a superficial view of things;
always take your time, concentrate and decide only
AIDS IN SADHANA 123
Be quiet and gather strength and force not only to do
work but also chiefly to achieve the Transformation.
Personal effort is needed for opening yourself more
and more by assent to the true things. Peace, Light,
Truth, Ananda by refusing the wrong things, such as
angerTfalselaood, lust etc.
It is the wrong movements, self-will, egoism, the vital
passions, vanity, personal desires etc. that stand in the
way of giving full assent to the Mother's working in
the sadhak's nature.
If there is no personal effort, if the sadhak is too
indolent and tamasic to try, why should the Grace act ?
Note that a tamasic surrender refusing to fulfil the
conditions and calling on God to do everything and save
one all the trouble and struggle is a deception and does
not lead to freedom and perfection.
So long as there is not the full Presence and conscious
working of the higher Force, some amount of the per-
sonal effort is indispensable. To do the sadhana for the
124 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
sake of the Divine and not for one's own sake is of course
the true attitude.
The soul, the psychic being is in direct touch with
the Divine Truth, but it is hidden in man by the mind,
the vital being and the physical nature. If there is a
refusal of the psychic new birth, a refusal to become
the child new born from the Mother, owing to attach-
ment to intellectual knowledge or mental ideas or to
some vital desire, then there will be a failure in the
If you want a more swift and visible progress, it can
only be by bringing your psychic to the front through
a constant self-offering. Aspire intensely, but without
The psychic being will not need the support of intel-
lectual ideas or outer signs and helps. It is that alone
that can give you the direct feeling of the Divine, the
constant nearness, the inner support and aid. You will
not then feel the Mother remote or have any further
doubt about the realisation; for the mind thinks and
the vital craves but the soul feels and knows the Divine.
If you want to succeed in this Yoga, you must take your
AIDS IN SADHANA
stand on the psychic relation and reject the egoistic
vital movement. The psychic being coming to the
front and staying there is the decisive movement in the
Happiness comes from the soul's satisfaction, not
from the vitaTs or the body's. The vital is never satis-
fied ; the body soon ceases to be moved at all by what it
easily or always has. Only the psychic being brings the
real joy and felicity,
Aspiration, constant and sincere, and the will to*
turn to the Divine alone are the best means to bring
forward the psychic.
Purification and consecration are two great necessities
of sadhana. Those who have experiences before puri-
fication run a great risk : it is much better to have the
heart pure first, for then the way becomes safe. That
is why I advocate "the psychic change of the nature first
for that means the purification of the heart.
Awakening means the conscious action of the psychic
from behind. When the psychic comes to the front, it
invades the mind and vital and body and psychicises
their movements. It comes best by aspiration and aa
126 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
unquestioning and entire turning and surrender to
The inner being is composed of the inner mental,
the inner vital, the inner physical. The psychic is the
inmost supporting all the others.
It is the soul, the psychic being in you, behind the
heart, that is awake and wants to concentrate the mind
on the Divine. It is the nature of the mind to go out to
other things, but now when it does that there is the
unease in the heart, the psychic sorrow, because the
heart feels at once that this is wrong and the head also
aches because of the resistance to the Divine Force at
work. This is a thing that often happens at an early
-stage, after the opening of the consciousness to the
The psychic being is one's own individual soul-being.
It is not the Divine, though it has come from the Divine
and develops towards the Divine.
The Mother :
There is not one person in a million who has a
conscious relation with his psychic being, even for a
AIDS IN SADHANA 127
moment. The psychic being can work from within,
but, for the external being, in such an invisible and
unconscious way as if it did not exist. In most cases,
in almost all cases, in fact, the psychic being is asleep,
as it were, not active at all, but in a kind of torpor. It
is only by Sadhana and persistent effort that one can
arrive at a conscious connection with one's psychic being.
I am always present in your psychic being. It is there
that you can and ought to find me, and when you will
find me there, in the depths of your heart, you will
recognise me also in my physical form.
The silent mind is a result of Yoga ; the ordinary
mind is never silent.
Mother does not approve at all of the idea of a com-
plete retirement. It does not bring the control it is a
control established while in contact with the outward
things that is alone genuine. You must establish that
from within by a fixed resolution and practice. Too much
mixing and too much talk should be avoided, but a
complete retirement is not the thing. It has not had
the required result with anyone so far.
128 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Mother :
It is only in silence that a true progress can be made ;
it is only in silence that one can rectify a wrong move-
ment ; it is only in silence that one can be of help to
To be entirely sincere means to desire the divine
Truth only, to surrender yourself more and more to
the Divine Mother, to reject all personal demand and
desire other than this one aspiration, to offer every action
in life to the Divine and do it as the work given without
bringing in the ego. This is the basis of the divine life,
You have only to be perfectly sincere and aspire for
purification and reject whatever is wrong in you. The
Divine Force will then act and do the rest. That is the
simple and true way.
The house of the Divine is not closed to any who
knock sincerely at its gates, whatever their past stumbles
A greater power is sincerity j a greatest power of all
AIDS IN SADHANA 129
The Divine gives the fruit not by the measure of the
sadhana but by the measure of the soul's sincerity and
its aspiration. One should say : "I am ready to be not
what I want but what the Divine wants me to be".
Open with sincerity. That means to open integrally
and without reservation ; not to give one part of you
to the divine working and keep back the rest ; not to
make a partial offering and keep for yourself the other
movements of your nature. All must be opened wide ;
it is insincerity to hold back any part of you or keep it
shut to the Divine.
Open with faithfulness. That means to be open con-
stantly and always ; not to open one day and withdraw
The Mother :
In order to be always near me really and effectively
you must become more and more sincere, open and
frank towards me.
Sincerity is the key of the divine doors.
As long as there is within the being the possibility of
an inner conflict it means that there is still in him some
130 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
A complete surrender is not possible in so short a
time, for a complete surrender means to cut the knot
of the ego in each part of the being and offer it, free
and whole, to the Divine.
It is not possible to get rid of the stress on personal
effort at once and not always desirable; for personal
effort is better than tamasic inertia. The personal effort
has to be transformed progressively into a movement of
the Divine Force.
It is not advisable in the early stages of the sadhana to
leave everything to the Divine or expect everything
from it without the need of one's own endeavour. That
is only possible when the psychic being is in front.
Under other conditions this attitude is likely to lead to
stagnation and inertia.
It is ego and desire that prevent surrender. If there
is no surrender, there can be no transformation of the
whole being. Absolute sincerity can make the deter-
mination of surrender rapidly effective.
Active surrender is when you associate your will with
the Divine Will, reject what is not the Divine, assent to
what is the Divine. Passive surrender is when everything
is left entirely to the Divine it turns out that you sur-
AIDS IN SADHANA 131
render to the lower nature under pretext of surrendering
to the Divine.
True surrender is possible when the sadhak is able
to get rid of these things accept the knowledge from
above in place of his own ideas, the will of the Divine in
place of his own desires, the movements of the Truth
in place of his physical habits and as a result is able to
live wholly for the Divine.
Self-giving or surrender is demanded of those who
practise this Yoga, because without such a progressive
surrender of the being it is quite impossible to get any-
where near the goal. To keep open means to call in
Mother's Force to work in you, and if you do not sur-
render to it, it amounts to not allowing the Force to work
in you at all or else only on condition that it will work
in the way you want and not in its own way which is the
way of the Divine Truth.
It is necessary if you want to progress in your sadhana
that you should make the submission and surrender of
which you speak sincere, real and possible. This cannot
be as long as you mix up your desires with your spiritual
aspiration. It cannot be as long as you cherish vital
attachment to family, child or anything or anybody
else. If you are to do this Yoga, you must have only one
132 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
desire and aspiration, to receive the spiritual Truth
and manifest it in all your thoughts, feelings, actions
and nature. You must not hunger after any relations
To give oneself is the secret of sadhana, not to demand
and acquire a thing. The more one gives oneself, the
more the power to receive will grow. But for that all
impatience and revolt must go; all suggestions of not
getting, not being helped, not being loved, going away,
of abandoning life or the spiritual endeavour must be
The whole principle of this Yoga is to give oneself
entirely to the Divine alone and to nobody and nothing
else, and to bring down into ourselves by union with the
Divine Mother-Power all the transcendent light, force,
wideness, peace, purity, truth-consciousness and Ananda
of the supramental Divine. In this Yoga, therefore,,
there can be no place for vital relations or interchanges
with others; any such relation or interchange immediately
ties down the soul to the lower consciousness and its
lower nature, prevents the true and full union with the
Divine and hampers both the ascent to the supramental
Truth-consciousness and the descent of the supramental
AIDS IN SADHANA 133
There is no single rule for all, it depends on the perso-
nality and the nature. Surrender is the main power of
the Yoga, but the surrender is bound to be progressive;
a complete surrender is not possible in the beginning,
but only a will in the being for that completeness. It is
only when the surrender is complete that the full flood
of the sadhana is possible. Till then there must be the
personal effort with an increasing reality of surrender.
It is altogether unprofitable to enquire who or what
class will arrive first or last at the goal. The spiritual path
is not a field of competition or a race that this should
matter. What matters is one's own aspiration for the
Divine, one's own faith, surrender, selfless self-giving.
Others can be left to the Divine who will lead each ac-
cording to his nature. Meditation, work, bhakti are each
means of preparative help towards fulfilment; all are in-
cluded in this path. If one can dedicate oneself through
work, that is one of the most powerful means towards
the self-giving which is itself the most powerful and
indispensable element of the sadhana.
The true movement is a pure aspiration and surrender.
After all, one has not a right to call on the Divine to
manifest himself; it can come only as a response to a
spiritual or psychic state of consciousness or to a long
course of sadhana rightly done; or, if it comes before
134 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
that or without any apparent reason, it is a Grace; but
one cannot demand or compel Grace. Grace is some-
thing spontaneous which wells out from the Divine
Consciousness as a free flow of its being. The bhakta
looks for it, but he is ready to wait in perfect reliance
even if need be, all his life knowing that it will come,
never varying in his love and surrender because it does
not come now or soon.
It is the first principle of our sadhana that surrender
is the means of fulfilment and so long as ego or vital
demand* and desire are cherished, complete surrender is
impossible. You have to go on rejecting the vital mix-
ture every time it rises. If you are steadfast in rejecting,
it will lose more and more of its force and fade out.
Always keep within and do things without involving
yourself in them, then nothing adverse will happen or,
if it does, no serious reaction will come.
Self-surrender to the divine and infinite Mother, how-
ever difficult, remains our only effective means and our
sole abiding refuge, self-surrender to her means that
our nature must be an instrument in her hands, the soul
a child in the arms of the Mother.
This Yoga accepts the value of cosmic existence and
holds it to be a reality; its object is to enter into a higher
Truth-Consciousness or Divine Supramental Conscious-
AIDS IN SADHANA 135
ness in which action and creation are the expression not of
ignorance and imperfection, but of the Truth, the Light,
the Divine Ananda. But for that, surrender of the
mortal mind, life and body to that Higher Consciousness
is indispensable, since it is too difficult for the mortal
human being to pass by its own effort beyond mind to a
Supramental Consciousness in which the dynamism is
no longer mental but of quite another power. Only
those who can accept the call to such a change should
enter into this Yoga.
In our Yoga there is no room for sacrifice. In its pure
sense it means a consecrated giving, a making sacred to
the Divine.... If you have the slightest feeling that you are
making sacrifice, then it is no longer surrender.... True
surrender enlarges you; it increases your capacity; it
gives you a greater measure in quality and in quantity,
which you could not have had by yourself.
Even the gods have to make their surrender to the
Supreme, if the Divine creation is to be realised upon
The true, lasting quietness in the vital and the physical
as well as in the mind, comes from a complete consecra-
136 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tion to the Divine; for when you can no more call anything,
not even yourself, yours, when everything, including
your body, sensations, feelings and thoughts belong to
the Divine, the Divine takes the entire responsibility of
all and you have nothing more to worry about.
If you want to be a true doer of divine works, your
first aim must be to be totally free from all desire and
self-regarding ego. All stress of egoistic choice, all hanker-
ing after personal profit, all stipulation of self-regarding
desire must be extirpated from the nature. There must
be no demand for fruit and no seeking for reward; the
only fruit for you is the pleasure of the Divine Mother
and the fulfilment of her work, your only reward a cons-
tant progression in divine consciousness and calm and
strength and bliss.
To keep up work helps to keep the balance between
the internal experience and the external development;
otherwise one-sidedness and want of measure and balance
may develop. Moreover, it is necessary to keep the
sadhana of work for the Divine, because in the end that
enables the sadhak to bring out the inner progress into
the external nature and life and helps the integrality of
AIDS IN SADHANA 137
To go entirely inside in order to have experiences and
to neglect the work, the external consciousness is to be
unbalanced; so also to throw oneself outward and live
in the external being alone is to be unbalanced. One
must have the same consciousness in inner experience
and outward action and make both full of the Mother.
There should be not only a general attitude, but each
work should be offered to the Mother so as to keep the
attitude a living one all the time.
The only work that spiritually purifies is that which is
done without personal motives, without desire for fame
or public recognition or worldly greatness, without in-
sistence on one's own mental motives or vital lusts and
demands or physical preferences, without vanity or crude
self-assertion or claim for position or prestige, done for
the sake of the Divine alone and at the command of the
Those who do work for the Mother in all sincerity,
are prepared by the work itself for the right consciousness
even if they do not sit down for meditation or follow
any particular practice of Yoga. It is not necessary to tell
you how to meditate; whatever is needful will come of
itself if in your work and at all times you are sincere and
keep yourself open to the Mother.
There is no stage of the sadhana in which works are
impossible. A complete cessation of work and entire
138 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
withdrawal into oneself is seldom advisable; it may en-
courage a too one-sided an visionary condition in which
one lives in a sort of midworld of purely subjective ex-
periences without a firm hold on either external reality
or on the highest Reality and without the right use of the
subjective experience to create a firm link and then a
unification between the highest Reality and the external
realisation in life.
Work for the Mother done with the right concentra-
tion on her is as much a sadhana as meditation and inner
To do both meditation and work and dedicate both
to the Mother is the best thing.
The Mother does not think that it is good to give up all
work and only read and meditate. Work is part of the
Yoga and it gives the best opportunity for calling down
the Presence, the Light and the Power into the vital and
its activities; it increases also the field and the opportunity
It is not enough to remember that the work is the
Mother's and the results also. You must learn to feel
the Mother's force behind you and to open to the ins-
piration and the guidance. Always to remember by an
effort of the mind is too difficult; but if you get into the
AIDS IN SADHANA
consciousness in which you feel always the Mother's
force in you or supporting you, that is the true thing.
Yoga through work is the easiest and most effective
way to enter into the stream of this sadhana.
Work is not only for work's sake, but as field of sadhana
for getting rid of the lower personality and its reactions
and acquiring a full surrender to the Divine. As for
the work itself, it must be done according to the organi-
sation arranged or sanctioned by the Mother. You must
always remember that it is her work and not personally
To leave your work is not a solution it is through
work that one can detect and progressively get rid of
the feelings and movements that are contrary to the
Yogic ideal those of the ego. The test is to do the work
given by the Mother without abhiman or insistence or
personal choice or prestige, not getting hurt by any-
thing that touches the pride, or personal preference.
It is a great and high ideal that is put before the sadhak
through work and it is not possible to realise it suddenly,
but to grow steadily into it is possible, if one keeps the
140 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
aim always before one to be a selfless and perfectly
tempered instrument for the work of the Divine Mother.
In work it is to do what is best for the work, without
regard to one's own prestige or convenience, not to
regard the work as one's own but as the Mother's, to do
it according to rule, discipline, impersonal arrangement,
even if conditions are not favourable to do the best
according to the conditions, etc., etc.
The greater the difficulties that rise in the work the
more one can profit by them in deepening the equality,
if one takes it in the right spirit. You must also keep
yourself open to receive the help towards that, for the
help will always be coming from the Mother for the
change of the nature.
If, however, the mind and the vital get the habit of
opening to the Mother's Force, they are then supported
by the Force and may even be fully filled with it
the Force does the work and the body feels no strain or
fatigue before or after. But even then, unless the body
itself is open and can absorb and keep the Force, suffi-
cient rest in between the work is absolutely necessary.
Otherwise, although the body may go on for a very
long time, yet in the end there can be a danger of a
AIDS IN SADHANA 14!
A complete freedom from fatigue is possible, but that
comes only when there is a complete transformation of
the law of the body by the full descent of a supramental
Force into the earth-nature.
To work in the calm ever-widening consciousness is
at once a sadhana and a siddhi.
The including of the outer consciousness in the trans-
formation is of supreme importance in this Yoga
meditation cannot do it. Meditation can deal only with
the inner being. So work is of primary importance onljr
it must be done with the right attitude and in the right
consciousness, then it is as fruitful as any meditation
The ignorance underlying this attitude is in the assump-
tion that one must necessarily do only work or only
meditation. Work by itself is only a preparation, so is
meditation by itself, but work done in the increasing.
Yogic consciousness is a means of realisation as much as
I have always said that work done as sadhana done,,
that is to say, as an outflow of energy from the Divine
and offered to the Divine or work done for the sake of
142 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the Divine or work done in a spirit of devotion is a power-
ful means of sadhana and that such work is especially
necessary in this Yoga. By work and bhakti one can
develop a consciousness in which eventually a natural
meditation and realisation becomes possible.
All work done for the Divine is equally divine, manual
labour done for the Divine is more divine than mental
culture done for one's own development, fame or mental
satisfaction. The idea of giving up physical work for
mental self-development is a creation of the mental
To be free from all egoistic motive, careful of truth
in speech and action, void of self-will and Jself-assertion,
watchful in all things, is the condition for being a flawless
The work here is not intended for showing one's
capacity or having a position or as a means of physical
nearness to the Mother, but as a field and an opportunity
for the Karmayoga part of the integral Yoga, for learn-
ing to work in the true Yogic way, dedication through
service, practical selflessness, obedience, scrupulousness,
discipline, setting the Divine and the Divine's work
first and oneself last, harmony, patience, forbearance,
etc. When the workers learn these things and cease to
AIDS IN SADHANA 143
be ego-centric, as most of you are, then will come the
time for work in which capacity can really be shown,
although even then the showing of capacity will be
an incident and can never be the main consideration
or the object of divine work.
If too much work is done the quality of the work
deteriorates in spite of the zest of the worker.
Mother does not disapprove of your writing a book
what she does not like is your being so lost in it that
you can do nothing else. You must be master of what
you do and not possessed by it.
You must do the work as an offering to the Divine and
take it as part of your sadhana. In that spirit the nature
of the work is of little importance and you can do any
work without losing the contact with the inner presence.
All work done for the Divine, from poetry and art and
music to carpentry or baking or sweeping a room, should
be made perfect even in its smallest external detail
as well as in the spirit in which it is done; for only then
is it an altogether fit offering.
144 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Mother :
To work for the Divine is to pray with the body,
Work done in the true spirit is meditation.
A good material work not exceeding normal capacities
is most useful for keeping a good physical and moral
Here, for each work given, the full strength and
Grace are always given at the same time to do the work
as it has to be done. If you do not feel the strength and
the Grace it proves that there is some mistake in your
attitude. The faith is lacking or you have fallen back
on old tracks and old creeds and thus you lose all
You will become more and more perfect in your work
as the consciousness grows, increases, widens and is
When in your work you find something giving trouble
outside, look within and you will find in yourself the
corresponding difficulty. Change yourself and the
circumstances will change.
AIDS IN SADHANA 145
It is not so easy to do work. Don't think that somehow
finishing the outward form of the work is doing the work
in the true sense. It is much more difficult to work
than to do "sadhana" as it is ordinarily understood.
In meditation your consciousness goes higher and
remains there in conditions of light and peace. In true
work you have to do that also and much more. You
have to do all that a Yogi does, you have to reach the
highest heights and bring down those conditions of
consciousness, light and peace and manifest them in
your everyday jobs. For you no work is insignificant or
There must be order and harmony in your work.
Mahasaraswati is not at all satisfied with your work if
even the slightest disharmony, disorder or confusion
are found in it. Even what is apparently the most in-
significant thing must be done with perfect perfection,
with a sense of cleanliness, beauty, harmony and order.
For example even when you sweep a room you must
try to make it as clean as a first class operation
Unless you work hard you do not get energy ; because
in that case you do not need it and don't deserve it.
You get energy only when you make use of it.
146 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA
IF you are to do this Yoga, you must have only one desire
and aspiration; you should make the submission and
surrender sincere, real and complete. It cannot be as long
as you cherish vital attachment to family, child or
anything or anybody else.
In Yoga friendship can remain but attachment has to
fall away or any such engrossing affection as would keep
one tied to the ordinary life and consciousness.
Any attachment or restlessness comes in the way of a
spiritual working. Train yourself to look calmly without
disturbance and simply see what has to be done and
quietly will it ; it is so that the ordinary consent of the
Nature-forces can be overtopped and overcome.
Even after the liberation, one has to remain vigilant
for often these things go out and remain at a far dis-
tance, waiting to see if under any circumstances in any
condition they can make a rush and recover their king-
dom. If there has been an entire purification down to
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 147
the depths and nothing is there to open the gate, then
they cannot do it.
Attachment is attachment in whatever part of the
being it may be. In order to be unattached one must
be unattached everywhere, in the mental, vital and
To become indifferent to the attraction of outer objects
is one of the first rules of Yoga, for this non-attachment
liberates the inner being into peace and the true
The Mother :
The attitude of the ascetic who says, "I want nothing"
and the attitude of the man of the world who says, "I
want this thing" arc the same. The one may be as much
attached to his renunciation as the other to his possession.
You must accept all things and only those things
that come from the Divine. Because things can come
from concealed desires under disguise.
If desire is not mastered, how can there be any straight
walking on the straight path ? All desires and attach-
148 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
ments are vital, all self-indulgence also. To reach the
freedom without the discipline and development is given
Ambition and vanity are things so natural to the
human consciousness they have even their use in ordi-
nary life. But they have to be pushed out before one
is far on this path otherwise they are very dangerous
attendants and can pervert both aspiration and siddhi.
The Mother :
First of all he must give up his desires, whoever wants
to follow this path; for desire is the most obscure and the
most obscuring movement of the lower nature. Desires
are motions of weakness and ignorance and they keep you
chained to your weakness and to your ignorance. It is
the same with all the lower impulses, jealousy or envy,
hatred or violence, because they do not belong to the
true nature of the Divine.
To conquer a desire brings more joy than to satisfy it.
Greed for anything concerning physical conveniences
so called necessities and comfort of whatever nature
these are is one of the most serious obstacles to sadhana*
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 149
Each little satisfaction you get through greed is one step
backward from the goal.
Depression prevents the Force from flowing through
and calls in the adverse forces and gives them a chance
to destroy the helpful formations that are made. How-
ever or from wheresoever it came, the only thing to do
with a depression is to throw it out.
These feelings of despair and exaggerated sense of
self-depreciation and helplessness are suggestions of a
hostile Force and should never be admitted. The trans-
formation of the external being is the most difficult part
of the Yoga and it demands faith, patience, quietude and
One must be more obstinate than the obstinate material
nature and persevere until the light and truth can take
permanent hold of the parts which are still responsive to
the old movements.
The sadder you are and the more you lament, the
farther you go away from me. The Divine is not sad
andjfor realising the Divine you must reject far from
yourself all sadness and all sentimental weakness.
A depression is always unreasonable and it leads
nowhere. It is the most subtle enemy of the Yoga.
150 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Be courageous and do not think so much of yourself.
It is because you make your little ego the centre of your
preoccupation that you are sad and unsatisfied. To forget
oneself is the great remedy for all ills.
Do not be troubled by your surroundings and their
oppositions. These conditions are often imposed at first
as a kind of ordeal. If you can remain tranquil and
undisturbed and continue your sadhana without allowing
yourself to be inwardly troubled under these circums-
tances, it will help to give you a much needed strength;
for the path of Yoga is always beset with inner and outer
difficulties and the sadhaka must develop a quiet, firm
and solid strength to meet them.
All who enter the spiritual path have to face the diffi-
culties and ordeals of the path, those which rise from
their own nature and those which come in from outside.
The difficulties in the nature always rise again and again
till you overcome them; they must be faced with both
strength and patience. But the vital part is prone to
depression when ordeals and difficulties rise. But you
must train yourself to overcome this reaction of depres-
sion, calling in the Mother's Force to aid you.
All who cleave to the path steadfastly can be sure of
their spiritual destiny. If anyone fails to reach it, it can
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 151
only be for one of the two reasons, either because they
leave the path or because for some lure of ambition,
vanity, desire, etc. they go astray from the sincere depen-
dence on the Divine.
The Divine is there, but He does not ignore the condi-
tions, the laws, the circumstances of Nature; it is under
these conditions that He does all His work, His work in
the world and in man and consequently also in the
sadhaka, the aspirant, even in the God-knower and
God-lover; even the saint and the sage continue to have
difficulties and to be limited by their human nature.
In the ordinary life people accept the vital movements,
anger, desire, greed, sex, etc. as natural, allowable and
legitimate things, part of the human nature. Only so
far as society discourages them or insists to keep them
within fixed limits or subject to a decent restraint or mea-
sure, people try to control them so as to conform to the
social standard of morality or rule of conduct. Here,
on the contrary, as in all spiritual life, the conquest and
complete mastery of these things is demanded. Tha,t is
why the struggle is more felt, not because these things
rise more strongly in sadhaks than in ordinary men, but
because of the intensity of the struggle between the
spiritual mind which demands control and the vital
152 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
movements which rebel and want to continue in the new
as they did in the old life.
You should know perfectly well that, in our Yoga,
pain and suffering and struggle and excesses of despair
are natural though not inevitable on the way not
because they are helps but because they are imposed on
us by the darkness of this human nature out of which
we have to struggle into the Light.
Nobody has ever said that the spiritual change was an
easy thing; all spiritual seekers will say that it is difficult
but supremely worth doing. If one's desire for the
Divine has become the master desire, then surely one
can give one's whole life to it without repining and not
grudge the time, difficulty or labour.
That does not mean that those whose faith is not so
strong or surrender complete cannot arrive, but usually
they have at first to go by small steps and to face the diffi-
culties of their nature until by perseverance or tapasya
they make a sufficient opening. Even a faltering faith
and a slow and partial surrender have their force and
their result, otherwise only the rare few could do sadhana
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 153
Obstacles are there they are part of Nature and
they have to be overcome. The Mother's help is always
there but you are not conscious of it except when the
psychic is active and the consciousness not clouded.
He is quite right in saying that the heaviness of these
.attacks was due to the fact that you had taken up the
sadhana in earnest and were approaching, as one might
say, the gates of the Kingdom of Light. That always
makes these forces rage and they strain every nerve and
use or create every opportunity to turn the sadhak back
or, if possible, drive him out of the path altogether by
their suggestions, their violent influences and their
exploitations of all kinds of incidents that always crop up
more and more when these conditions prevail, so that
he may not reach the gates.... People nowadays seek the
explanation for everything in their ignorant reason,
their surface experience and in outside happenings. They
<lo not see the hidden forces and inner causes.... These
forces find their point d'appui in the sadhak himself, in
the ignorant parts of his consciousness and its assent to
their suggestions and influences....
It is inevitable once one enters into this Yoga that the
difficulties should rise up and they go on rising up so
long as anything of them is left in the system at all.
154 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
What is needed to pass through difficulties is sincerity
This Yoga is a spiritual battle; its very attempt raises
all sorts of adverse forces and one must be ready to face
difficulties, sufferings, reverses of all sorts in a calm
The difficulties that come are ordeals and tests and if
one meets them in the right spirit, one comes out stronger
and spiritually purer and greater.
When there is an attack from the human instruments
of adverse forces, one should try to overcome it not in
a spirit of personal hatred or anger or wounded egoism,
but with a calm spirit of strength and equanimity and a
call to the Divine Force to act. Success or failure lies with
One should then seek out this weakness in oneself and
correct it. No weakness, no arrogance or violence, this
should be the spirit.
When difficulties arise, remain quiet within and call
down the Mother's Force to remove them. The Mother's
Force is not only above on the summit of the being. It
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 155
is there with you and near you, ready to act whenever
your nature will allow it. It is so with everybody here.
However strong the attack may be, and even if it
overcomes for the time being, still it will rapidly pass
away if you have formed the habit of opening to the
Mother. The peace will come back if you remain quiet
and keep yourself open to it and to the Force. Once
something of the Truth has shown itself within you, it
will always, even if for a time heavily clouded over with
wrong movements, shine out .again like the sun in heaven.
Therefore persevere with confidence and never lose
Outer difficulties or inconveniences you should not
allow to alarm or depress you. Inner difficulties should
also be met with detachment, calm, equality, the
unshakable will to conquer. These small desires obstruct
greatly the change in the outer consciousness and the
being must be free from them if the transformation is
not to be hampered there.
A solid mind, a solid nervous system, and a steady
psychic flame seem to be the only safeguard against
"terrible attacks" in sadhana. If such things did not
happen there would be no need of a fight day and night.
156 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It is a period when doubt, denial, dryness, greyness
and all kindred things come up with a great force and
often reign completely for a time. It is after this stage
has been successfully crossed that the true light begins
to come, the light which is not of the mind but of the
spirit. It does not really indicate any radical disability
in the nature but certainly it is a hard ordeal and one
has to stick very firmly to pass through it.
This always comes in the way when one wants to
progress in one's sadhana, but in the end if one is sincere
in one's aspiration these troubles help to prepare the
victory of the soul over all that opposes.
The real difficulty is always in ourselves, not in our
surroundings. There are three things necessary in order
to make men invincible : Will, Disinterestedness and
Faith. We may have a will to emancipate ourselves,
but sufficient faith may be lacking. We may have faith
in our ultimate emancipation, but the will to use the
necessary means may be wanting. And even if there are
will and faith, we may use them with a violent attach-
ment to the fruit of our work or with passions of hatred,
blind excitement or hasty forcefulness which may pro-
duce evil reactions. For this reason it is necessary, in a
work of such magnitude, to have resort to a higher
Power than that of mind and body in order to overcome
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 157
unprecedented obstacles. This is the need of
The path is long, but self-surrender makes it short ;
the way is difficult, but perfect trust makes it easy. The
force that can do it, exists. But it is hidden in a secret
chamber within us and of that chamber God holds the
key. Let us find Him and claim it.
The Mother :
The difficulties are always due to a resistance, some
part or several parts of the being refusing to receive
the force, the consciousness and the light put upon them
and revolting against the divine influence. But to keep
steady one's aspiration and to look at oneself with an
absolute sincerity are the sure means to overcome all
When you feel unhappy like that, it means that you
have a progress to make. You can say that we always
need to progress ; it is true. But at times our nature
gives its consent to the needed change and then every-
thing goes smoothly, even happily. On the contrary,
sometimes the part that has to progress refuses to move
and clings to its old habits through ignorance, inertia,
attachment or desire. Then, under the pressure of
158 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the perfecting^Force, the struggle starts translating itself
into unhappiness or revolt, or both together.
The only '"remedy is to keep quiet, look within oneself
honestly to find out what is wrong and set to work
courageously to put it right ; and the more sincere your
endeavour, the more the Divine consciousness will
help and assist you.
Don't let anything from outside approach and dis-
turb you. What people think, do or say is of little im-
portance. The only thing that counts is your relation
with the Divine.
The sufferings and miseries are not meant for the
benefit of their souls, it is only very strong beings who
can find an inner benefit in sufferings ; they are the
result of the world's resistance to the Divine action.
The best each sadhak can do is to conquer in himself
EGO, VANITY, PRIDE '
Efface the stamp of ego from the heart and let the love
of the Mother take its place. Cast from the mind all
insistence on your personal ideas and judgment, then
you will have the wisdom to understand her. Let there
be no obsession of self-will, ego-drive in the action, love
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 159
of personal authority, attachment to personal preference,
then the Mother's force will be able to act clearly in you
and you will get the inexhaustible energy for which you
ask and your service will be perfect.
The sooner you get rid of abhiman the better. Anyone
who indulges abhiman (ego) puts himself under the
influence of the hostile forces.
Pride is only one form of ego there are then ten
thousand others. Every action of man is full of ego
the good ones as well as the bad, his humility as much
as his pride, his virtues as much as his vices.
To get the ego out of the human nature is not so
simple as that. If one is free from ego, does nothing
with reference to himself or for his own sake but only
for the Divine and all his thoughts and feelings are for
the Divine, then he is Jivanmukta and a Siddha Yogi.
The egoism of the instrument can be as dangerous or
more dangerous to spiritual progress than the egoism
of the doer. The ego-sense is contrary to spiritual
realisation. There should be no big I, not even a small
For the ego, however insistent it may be, one has to
keep one's eye on it and say no to all its suggestions so
l6o A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
that each position it takes up proves to be a fruitless
move. It is only by a constant quiet vigilance and in-
creasing consciousness that it can be got out for if
it is not allowed to play, it conceals itself and takes
subtle and disguised forms.
Without the liberation of the psychic and the realisa-
tion of the true Self the ego cannot go, both are neces-
sary. Liberation comes by loss of ego and desire. To
get rid of ego is as difficult as to make a complete
Very few people in the Ashram are conscious of their
ego-centricity. They are all ego-centric and they do not
realise their ego-centricity. Even in their sadhana the
T is always there, my sadhana, my progress, my
everything. The remedy is to think constantly of the
Divine, not of oneself, to work, to act, do sadhana for
the Divine ; not to consider how this or that affects me
personally, not to claim anything, but to refer all to the
The ego-centric man feels and takes things as they
affect him. Does this please me or displease, give me
gladness or pain, flatter my pride, vanity, ambition or
hurt it, satisfy my desires or thwart them, etc. The
unegoistic man does not look at things like that. He
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA l6l
looks to see what things are in themselves and would
be if he were not there, what is their meaning, how they
fit into the scheme of things or else he feels calm and
equal, refers everything to the Divine. There can be
many points of view which are not ego-centric.
Self-justification keeps the wrong movement going
because it gives a mental support. Self-justification is
always a sign of ego and ignorance. When one has a
wider consciousness, one knows that each one has his
own way of looking at things and finds in that way his
own justification, so that both parties in a quarrel believe
themselves to be on the right. It is only when one looks
from above in a consciousness clear of ego that one sees
all sides of a thing and also their real truth.
It is the petty ego in each that likes to discover and
talk about the "real or unreal" defects of others. The
ego has no right to judge them, because it has not the
right view or the right spirit. It is only the calm, dis-
interested, dispassionate, all-compassionate and all-loving
Spirit that can judge and see rightly the strength and
weakness in each being.
When a dangerous habit of constant self-justification
becomes strong in the sadhak, it is impossible to turn
him in this part of his being to the right consciousness
1 62 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
and action because at each step his whole preoccupation
is to justify himself. His mind rushes at once to main-
tain his own idea, his own position or his own course
of action. This he is ready to do by any kind of argu-
ment, sometimes the most clumsy and foolish.
This Yoga can only be done to the end by those who
are in total earnest about it and ready to abolish their
little human ego and its demands in order to find them-
selves in the Divine. It cannot be done in a spirit of
levity or laxity ; the work is too high and difficult, the
adverse powers in the lower Nature too ready to take
advantage of the least sanction or the smallest opening,
the aspiration and tapasya needed too constant and
All ambition, pride and vanity must disappear from
the thoughts and the feelings. All falsehood must be
rejected from the speech, thought and action and all
ostentation, arrogance and insolence.
The earth-consciousness does not want to change so
it rejects what comes down to it from above it has
always done so. It is only if those who have taken this
Yoga open themselves and are willing to change their
lower nature that this unwillingness can disappear.
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 163
What stands in the way of course is always the vital
ego with its ignorance and the pride of its ignorance and
the physical consciousness with its inertia which resents
and resists any call to change and its indolence which
does not like to take the trouble it finds it more com-
fortable to go on its own way repeating always the same
old movements and., at best, expecting everything to
be done for it in some way at some time.
The first thing is to have the right inner attitude;
the rest is the will to transform oneself and the vigilance
to perceive and reject all that belongs to the ego and the
tamasic persistence of the lower nature. Finally, to
keep oneself always open to the Mother in every part
of the being so that the process of transformation may
find no hindrance.
Egoism is part of the machinery a tool of the uni-
versal forces. It is only when one gets into touch with
a higher Nature that it is possible to get free of this
rule of ego and subjection to these forces.
The ego is by its nature a smallness of being ; it brings
contraction of the consciousness and with the contrac-
tion limitation of knowledge, disabling ignorance,
confinement and a diminution of power and by that
diminution incapacity and weakness scission of oneness
164 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
and by that scission disharmony and failure of sympathy
and love and understanding, inhibition or fragmenta-
tion of delight of being and by that fragmentation pain
and sorrow. To recover what is lost we must break out
of the worlds of ego.
The Mother :
Those who are capable of extending the conscious-
ness as wide as the world, become the world ; but those
who are shut up in their little bodies and limited feelings
stop at those limits ; their bodies and their petty feelings
are to them their whole self.
If you are truly surrendered to the Divine, in the
right manner and totally, then at every moment you will
be what you ought to be, you will do what you ought to
do, you will know what you ought to know. But for
that you should have transcended all the limitations of
To feel hurt by what others do or think or say is
always a sign of weakness and proof that the whole being
is not exclusively turned towards the Divine, not under
the divine influence alone. And then instead of bringing
with oneself the divine atmosphere made of love, tole-
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 165
ranee, understanding, patience, it is one's ego that throws
itself in response to another's with stiffness and hurt
feelings and the disharmony is aggravated.
All dread of fire or other violent forces should be
overcome. For dread shows a weakness the free spirit
can stand fearless before even the biggest forces of
If you are afraid of the hostile forces when they try
to come, you expose yourself to their power.
Once you enter the path of Yoga you must get rid of
all fears the fears of your mind, the fears of your vital,
the fears of your body which are lodged in its very cells.
One who seeks the transformation and is a follower of
the Path, must become through and through fearless,
not to be touched or shaken by anything whatever in
any part of his nature.
Generally speaking, the greatest obstacle perhaps
that hinders man's progress is fear. Of all kinds of fear
the most subtle and the most clinging is that of death.
1 66 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
One can conquer that alone which one fears not, and
he who fears death has already been vanquished by
The first and the most important thing is to know that
life is one and immortal. Only the forms, countless in
number, are transient and brittle. Life then does not
die; but the forms are dissolved, and it is this dissolution
that the physical consciousness fears. And yet .the form
changes constantly and there is nothing that debars this
change from being progressive.
One who craves for death may have to wait long to
get it and one who fears it may be struck down suddenly
in spite of all precautions taken....
Beyond all the emotions, in the silent and quiet depths
of our being, there is a light burning constantly, the light
of the psychic consciousness. Go in search of this light,
concentrate upon it; it is within you. With a persevering
will you will surely find it. As soon as you enter into it,
you awake to the sense of immortality. You feel you
have always lived, you will live always.
It is the attachment to food, the greed and eagerness
for it, making it an unduly important thing in the life,
that is contrary to the spirit of Yoga. To be aware that
something is pleasant to the palate is not wrong; only
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 167
one must have no desire nor hankering for it. There
should be neither eagerness nor repugnance. To be
always thinking about food and troubling the mind is
quite the wrong way of getting rid of the food-desire.
Do not trouble your mind about food. Take it in the
right quantity (neither too much nor too little), without
greed or repulsion, as the means given you by the Mother
for the maintenance of the body, in the right spirit,
offering it to the Divine in you.
It is no part of this Yoga to suppress taste, rasa, alto-
gether. What is to be got rid of is vital desire and attach-
ment, the greed of food, being overjoyed at getting the
food you like, sorry and discontented when you do not
have it, giving an undue importance to it. Equality is
here the test as in so many other matters.
It is not necessary to have desire or greed of food in
order to eat. The Yogi eats not out of desire, but to
maintain the body. It is a mistake to neglect the body
and let it waste away; the body is the means of the sadhana
and should be maintained in good order. There should
be no attachment to it, but no contempt or neglect either
of the material part of our nature.
1 68 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Spiritually, I should say that the effect of food depends
more on the occult atmosphere and influences that come
with it than on anything in the food itself. Vegetarianism
is another question altogether; it stands, on a will not
to do harm to the more conscious forms of life for the
satisfaction of the belly.
No Yoga can be done without sufficient food and sleep.
Fasting or sleeplessness makes the nerves morbid and
excited and weaken the brain and lead to delusions and
Fasting is not permissible in the Ashram, as its practice
is more often harmful than helpful to the spiritual
Prolonged fasting may lead to an excitation of the
nervous being which often brings vivid imaginations and
hallucinations that are taken for true experiences; such
fasting is frequently suggested by the vital Entities,
because it puts the consciousness into an unbalanced
state which favours their designs. It is therefore
Too much eating makes the body material and heavy,
eating too little makes it weak and nervous one has to
find the true harmony and balance between the body's
need and the food taken.
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 169
It is an inner attitude of freedom from attachment and
from greed of food and desire of the palate that is needed,
not undue diminution of the quantity taken or any self-
starvation. One must take sufficient food for the main-
tenance of the body and its strength and health but
without attachment or desire.
That is what happens along with the meal that you take,
you absorb also, in a large or small measure, the con-
sciousness of the animal whose flesh you swallow. Of
course it is nothing serious, but it is not always pleasant.
Yet obviously it does not help you to be more on the side
of man than on that of the animal kind. Primitive men,
we know, were much nearer the animal level and used to
take raw meat: that gave them evidently more strength
and energy than cooked meat. . . .Also it was for this reason
perhaps that there was in their intestines an organ called
the appendix in a much bigger size than it is now: for it
had to digest raw meat. As men, however, started cook-
ing their food and found it more tasty that way, the organ
too gradually diminished in size and fell into atrophy;
now it does not serve any purpose, it is an encumbrance
and often a source of illness. This means that it is time
to change the diet and take to something less bestial.
It depends, however, on the state of the consciousness
170 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
of each person. An ordinary man, who leads an ordinary
life, has ordinary aspirations, thinks of nothing else
than earning his livelihood, keeping good health and
rearing a family, need not pick and choose, except on
purely hygienic grounds. He may eat meat or anything
else that he considers helpful and useful, doing good to
But if you wish to move from the ordinary life to a
higher life, the problem acquires an interest. And again,
for a higher life if you wish to move up still farther and
prepare yourself for transformation, then the problem
becomes very important. For there are certain foods
that help the body to become more refined and others
that keep it down to the level of animalhood. But it is
only then that the question acquires an importance, not
before. Before you come to that point, you have a lot
of other things to do. It is certainly better to purify
your mind, purify your vital before you think of
purifying your body....
You must begin from within. I have said a hundred
times, you must begin from above. You must purify
first the higher region and then purify the lower. I do
not mean by this that you should give yourself up to all
the licences that degrade the body. I am not advising
you not to control your desires. What I mean is this:
do not try to be an angel in the body before you are
already something of the kind in your mind and in your
vital. For that will bring about a dislocation, a lack of
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA IJI
The hostile forces make it their function to attack and
disturb the sadhaks, but if there were no wrong move-
ment and no imperfection and weakness, they should not
Tests are applied not by the Divine but by the forces
of the lower planes mental, vital, physical and allowed
by the Divine because that is part of the soul's training
and helps it to know itself, its powers and the limitations
it has to outgrow. The Mother is not testing you at every
moment, but rather helping you at every moment to
rise beyond the necessity of tests and difficulties which
belong to the inferior consciousness.
Those who fall, fall not because of the attacks of the
vital forces, but because they put themselves on the
side of the hostile Forces and prefer a vital ambition or
desire to the spiritual siddhi.
Hostile forces attack every sadhak; some are conscious
of it, others are not. Their object is either to influence
the person or to use him or to spoil his sadhana or the
work or any other motive of the kind. Their object is
not to test, but their attack may be used by the guiding
power as a test.
172 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The hostile forces do not need a cause for attacking
they attack whenever and whoever they can. What one
has to see is that nothing responds or admits them.
There are no sadhaks who are never attacked by wrong
forces but if one has a complete faith and self-
consecration, one can throw off the attack without too
The hostile forces are there in the world to maintain
the Ignorance they were there in the sadhana, because
they had the right to test the sincerity of the sadhaks in
their power and will to cleave to the Divine and overcome
.all difficulties. But this is only so long as the higher
Light has not descended into the physical.
In Yoga, as in every great or serious human effort,
there is always bound to be an abundance of adverse
interventions and unfavourable circumstances which
have to be overcome. To give them too great an import-
ance increases their importance and their power to
multiply themselves, gives them, as it were, confidence
in themselves and the habit of coming. To face them
with equanimity, diminishes their importance and effect
and in the end, though not at once, gets rid of their
persistence and recurrence. It is therefore a principle
in Yoga to recognise the determining power of what is
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 173,
within us for that is the deeper truth to set that
right and establish the inward strength as against the
power of outward circumstances. The strength is there
even in the weakest; one has to find it, to unveil it
and to keep it in front throughout the journey and the
About the attacks and the action of the cosmic forces
these attacks very ordinarily become violent when the
progress is becoming rapid and on the way to be definite
specially if they find they cannot carry out an effective
aggression into the inner being, they try to shake by
outside assault. One must take it as a trial of strength,
a call for gathering all one's capacities of calm and open-
ness to the Light and Power, so as to make oneself an
instrument for the victory of the Divine over the undivine,
of the Light over the darkness in the world tangle.
It is in this spirit that you must face these difficulties
till the higher things are so confirmed in you that these
forces can attack no longer.
In the cosmos, there are the higher forces of the
Divine Nature the forces of Light, Truth, divine
Power, Peace, Ananda there are the forces of the lower
nature which belong either to a lower truth or to igno-
rance and error there are also the hostile forces whose
174 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
whole aim is to maintain the reign of Darkness, False-
hood, Death and Suffering as the law of life.
The Mother :
Attacks from adverse forces are inevitable: you have
to take them as tests on your way and go courageously
through the ordeal. The struggle may be hard, but when
you come out of it, you have gained something, you have
advanced a step. There is even a necessity for the
existence of the hostile forces. They make your deter-
mination stronger, your aspiration clearer.
If the attack takes the form of adverse suggestions try
quietly to push them away, as you would some material
object. The quieter you are, the stronger you become.
The firm basis of all spiritual power is equanimity. You
must not allow anything to disturb your poise : you can
then resist every kind of attack.
The only way to fail in your battle with the hostile
forces is not to have a true confidence in the Divine help.
Sincerity in the aspiration always brings down the
HUMAN NATURE OR PRAKRITI
Most men are, like animals, driven by the forces of
Nature: whatever desires come, they fulfil them, whatever
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 175
emotions come they allow them to play, whatever physical
wants they have, they try to satisfy. We say then that
the activities and feelings of men are controlled by their
Prakriti, and mostly by the vital and physical nature.
The body is the instrument of the Prakriti or Nature
it obeys its own nature or it obeys the vital forces of
desires, passion etc.
But man has also a mind and, as he develops, he learns
to control his vital and physical nature by his reason
and by his will. This control is very partial : for the
reason is often deluded by vital desires and the ignorance
of the physical and it puts itself on their side and tries
to justify by its ideas, reasonings or arguments their
mistakes and wrong movements. Even if the reason
keeps free and tells the vital or the body, "Do not do this",
yet the vital and the body often follow their own move-
ment in spite of the prohibition man's mental will
is not strong enough to compel them.
When people do sadhana, there is a higher Nature
that works within, the psychic and spiritual, and they
have to put their nature under the influence of the psychic
being and the higher spiritual self or of the Divine. Not
only the vital and the body but the mind also has to learn
the Divine Truth and obey the divine rule. But because
of the lower nature and its continued hold on them,
they are unable at first and for a long time to prevent
their nature from following the old ways even when
1 76 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
they know or are told from within what to do or what
not to do. It is only by persistent sadhana, by getting
into the higher spiritual consciousness and spiritual
nature that this difficulty can be overcome; but even
for the strongest and best sadhaks it takes a long time.
The lower nature is ignorant and undivine, not in
itself hostile but shut to the Light and Truth. The
hostile forces are anti-divine, not merely undivine; they
make use of the lower nature, pervert it, fill it with dis-
torted movements and by that means influence man
and even try to enter and possess or at least entirely
The rule in Yoga is not to let the depression depress
you, to stand back from it, observe its cause and remove
the cause. The Yogi should look on all the defects of the
nature as movements of the lower prakriti common
to all and reject them calmly, firmly and persistently
with full confidence in the Divine Power. However
hard the fight, the only thing is to fight it out now and
here to the end.
The Mother does not make people commit mistakes;
it is the Prakriti that makes them do it if the Purusha
does not refuse his consent. The Mother here is not
this lower Prakriti, but the Divine Shakti and it is her
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 177
work to press on this lower Nature to change. You can
say that under the pressure, the Prakrit! stumbles and is
unable to reply perfectly and makes mistakes. But it is
not the Mother who makes you do wrong movements
or does the wrong movements in you.
Everything comes from the Divine; but the lower
Prakriti is the power of the ignorance it is not there-
fore a power of truth, but only of mixed truth and false-
hood. The Mother here stands not for the Power of
Ignorance, but for the Power that has come down to
bring down the Truth and raise up to the Truth out of
The Cosmic Force is a Power that works under the
conditions of the Ignorance it appears as the lower
nature and the lower nature makes you do wrong things.
The Divine allows the play of these forces so long as you
do not yourself want anything better. But if you are a
sadhak, then you do not accept the play of the lower
nature, you turn to the Divine Mother instead, and ask
her to work through you instead of the lower nature.
It is only when you have turned entirely in every part of
your being to the Divine Mother and to her alone that
the Divine will do all actions through you.
The character is made up of habits and it clings to them,
is disposed to think them the very law of its being and
it is a hard job to get it to change at all except under a
178 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
strong pressure of circumstances. Especially in the physi-
cal parts, the body, the physical mind, the physical life
movements, there is this resistance; the tamasic element
in Nature is powerful there, what the Gita describes as
aprakdsa y absence of light, and apravritti, a tendency to
inertia, inactivity, unwillingness to make an effort and, as
a result, even when the effort is made, a constant
readiness to doubt, to despond and despair, to give up,
renounce the aim and the endeavour, collapse.
Physical consciousness wants the satisfaction of the
ego, "self-fulfilment", appreciation, the granting of its
desires. It measures the Divine Love by the outward
favours showered upon it and looks jealously to see who
gets more of these favours than itself, then says that the
Divine has no love for it and assigns reasons which are
either derogatory to the Divine, or self-depreciation and
cause for despair. It is tamasic and does not want to
change, does not want to believe unless it can be done by
reassuring the vital ego; it is part of human nature and
has always been there,Jhampering and limiting the sadhana.
Its existence is no reason for despair everyone has it
and the sadhana has to be done in spite of it, in spite of
the mixture it brings till the time comes when it has to be
definitely rejected. It is difficult to do it, but perfectly
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 179
Human nature is shot through in all its stuff with the
thread of the ego; even when one tries to get away from it,
it is in front or could be behind all the thoughts and actions
like a shadow. To see that is the first step, to discern the
falsity and absurdity of the ego-movements is the second,
to discourage and refuse it at each step is the third, but
it goes entirely only when one sees, experiences and lives
the One in everything and equally everywhere.
One must not treat the human nature like a machine to
be handled according to rigid mental rules a great
plasticity is needed in dealing with its complex motives.
The sadhana is done by the Mother according to the
Truth and necessity of each nature and of each plane of
It was inevitable that in the course of the sadhana these
inferior parts of the nature should be brought forward
in order that like the rest of the being they may make the
crucial choice and either accept or refuse transformation.
My whole work depends upon this movement; it is the
decisive ordeal of this Yoga. If the little external perso-
nality is to persist in retaining its obscure and limited,
its petty and ignoble, its selfish and false and stupid
human consciousness, this amounts to a flat negation of
the work and the sadhana.
180 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
I suppose if the Nirvana aim had been put before the
disciples, more would have been fit for it, for the Nirvana
aim is easier than the one we have put before us and
they would not have found it so difficult to reach the
standard. The sadhaks here are of all kinds and in all
stages. But the real difficulty even for those who have
progressed is with the external man. Even among those
who follow the old ideal, the external man of the sadhak
remains almost the same even after they have attained
to something. The inner being gets free, the outer follows
still its fixed nature. Our Yoga can succeed only if the
external man too changes, but that is the most difficult
of all things. It is only by a change of the physical nature
that it can be done, by a descent of the higher light into
this lower part of Nature. It is here that the struggle
is going on. The internal being of most of the sadhaks
here, however imperfect still, is still different from that
of the ordinary man, but the external still clings to its
old ways, manners, habits. It is when this is realised and
done, that the Yoga will produce its full results in the
Ashram itself, and not before.
People with small and narrow minds are in love with
their narrowness and attached to their own limited
ideas, feelings^opinions, preferences and get disturbed,
angry or full of doubt if anyone tries to make them think
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA l8l
Among human beings, the most widely spread disease
is mental narrowness. They understand only what is in
their own consciousness and cannot tolerate anything else.
It is not possible to make a foundation in Yoga if the
mind is restless. The first thing needed is quiet in the
mind. Also to merge the personal consciousness is not
the first aim of the Yoga; the first aim is to open it to a
higher spiritual consciousness and for this also a quiet
mind is the first need.
People do not understand what I write because the mind
by itself cannot understand things that are beyond it.
People often catch hold of something written by me
or said by ^ the Mother, give it an interpretation quite
other than or far beyond its true meaning and deduce
from it a suddenly extreme and logical conclusion which
is quite contrary to our knowledge and experience.
In this Yoga one is supposed to go beyond every mental
idealistic culture. Ideas and Ideals belong to the mind
and are half-truths only; the mind too is, more often than
not, satisfied with merely having an ideal, with the pleasure
of idealising, while life remains always the same, un-
1 82 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
transformed or changed only a little and mostly in appear-
ance. The spiritual seeker does not turn aside from the
pursuit of realisation to mere idealising; not to idealise,
but to realise the Divine Truth is always his aim, either
beyond or in life also and in the latter case it is necessary
to transform mind and life which cannot be done without
surrender to the action of the Divine Force, the Mother.
The Divine Consciousness acts from a light that is
beyond that level of human consciousness which makes
the human standard of these things. It acts for and
from a greater good than the apparent good men follow
after. It acts also according to a greater truth than men
conceive. It is for this reason that the human mind can-
not understand the divine action and its motives he must
first rise into a higher consciousness and be in spiritual
contact or union with the Divine.
The mind acts according to hard and fast rules and
standards, while the spirit sees the truth of all and the
truth of each and acts variously according to its own
comprehensive and complex vision. That is why we
say that no one can understand by his personal mental
judgment the Mother's actions and reasons for action :
it can only be understood by entering into the larger
consciousness from which she sees things and acts upon
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 183
them. That is baffling to the mind because it uses its
small measures, but that is the truth of the matter.
The weak-willed man is governed by his vital and
physical impulsions, his mental being is not dynamic
enough to make its will prevail over them. His will is
not "free" because it is not strong enough to be free, it
is the slave of the forces that act on or in his vital and
Thoughts, ideas, etc. are always wandering about,
seeking a mind that may embody them. One mind takes 5
looks, rejects another takes, looks, accepts. Two
different minds catch -the same thought-form or thought-
wave, but the mental activities being different, make
different results out of them, and the recipient cries
proudly, "I, I have done this". Ego, Sir! ego! You are
the recipient, the conditioning medium, if you like
but nothing more.
Nothing is more dangerous than the influences of the
physical mind trying to build up conclusions upon
outward appearances they have nine chances out of
ten of being false. One must learn to distrust hasty
conclusions from surface appearances and learn to see
and know things from within.
1 84 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
In ordinary life people always judge wrongly because
they judge by mental standards and generally by con-
ventional standards. The human mind is an instrument
not of truth but of ignorance and error.
The insistence of the ordinary mind and its wrong
reasonings, sentiments and judgments, the random
activity of the thinking mind in concentration or its
mechanical activity, the slowness of response to the
veiled or the initial touch are the ordinary obstacles the
mind imposes, just as pride, ambition, vanity, sex, greed,
grasping of things for one's own ego are the difficulties
and obstacles offered by the vital. As the vital difficul-
ties can be fought down and conquered, so can the mental.
Only one has to see that these are the inevitable obstacles
and neither cling to them nor be terrified or overwhelmed
because they are there. One has to persevere till one
can stand back from the mind as. from the vital.
A thousand questions can be asked about anything
whatsoever, but to answer would require a volume, and
even then the mind would understand nothing. It is only
by a growth in the consciousness itself that you can get
some direct perception of these things. But for that
the mind must be quiet and a direct feeling and intui-
tion take its place.
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 185
That trouble is from the physical mind refusing to
take the trouble of the labour and struggle necessary
for the spiritual achievement. It wants to get the highest,
but desires a smooth course all the way, "who the devil
is going to face so much trouble for getting the Divine ?"
that is the underlying feeling. It is only when one
has cleared the field and ploughed and sown and watched
over it that big harvests can be hoped for.
All things are the Divine because the Divine is there,
but hidden not manifest ; when the mind goes out to
things, it is not with the sense of the Divine in them,
but for the appearances only which conceal the Divine.
It is necessary therefore for you as a sadhak to turn
entirely to the Mother in whom the Divine is manifest
and not run after the appearances, the desire of which
or the interest in which prevents you from meeting the
Divine. Once the being is consecrated, then it can see
the Divine everywhere and then it can include all
things in the one consciousness without a separate
interest or desire.
To be rid of the external mind and its doubts one
must cease to be attached to or accept its ideas in the
feelings of the vital. One must realise that those things
are ignorance, not knowledge, and that there is a true
consciousness and true knowledge which can come only
1 86 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
by quietude of the mind and vital and one must aspire
The thinking mind has to learn how to be entirely
silent. It is only then that true knowledge can come.
The Mother :
The mind is not an instrument for knowledge. Its
true role is to give a form, to initiate an action. It is
mind that puts in order the different elements of the
inspiration and organises the action....
Knowledge does not come from the mind. It comes
from the profundities of the soul or from a higher con-
sciousness. Man's role is to concentrate this knowledge
in the physical world and organise it in order to give
action a rational basis....
Mind has a powerful control over all vital impulses.
Because of it, all that comes from the vital world can be
used for a disciplined and organised action.
But for that, it must be at the service of some other
thing, of a higher ideal, or of a divine consciousness and
must not remain satisfied with itself.
These are the two roles of the mind. It is a force,
an instrument for control. And when it is sufficiently
developed it becomes a very powerful and capable
instrument for organisation and for formation.
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 187
Relations after taking tip Yoga should be less and
based on a physical origin or the habits of the physical
consciousness and more and more on the basis of sadhana.
Family ties create an unnecessary interchange and come
in the way of a complete turning to the Divine.
Child-parent relation is a law of the human society,
not a law of Karma. The child did not ask the father to
bring him into the world and if the father has done it
for his own pleasure, it is the least he can do to bring
up the child. All these are social relations, but whatever
they are, they cease once one takes to the spiritual life,
It is the Divine alone with whom one has to do.
The Mother :
One who has given himself to the Divine has no longer
any other duty than to make that consecration more and
more perfect. The world and those who live in it have
always wanted to put human social and family duty
before duty to the Divine, which they have stigmatised
as egoism. How indeed could they judge otherwise,
they who have no experience of the reality of the Divine ?
But for the Divine regard their opinion has no value,
their will has no force. These are movements of igno-
rance, nothing more. You should not attempt to con-
vince ; above all, you should not let yourself be touched
1 88 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
or shaken. You must shut yourself carefully within your
ivory tower of consecration and attend from the Divine
alone help, protection, guidance and approbation. To
be condemned by the whole world is nothing to him who
knows that he has the approval of the Divine and his
All that is based on human relationship is unstable
and transient, mixed and unsatisfactory ; it is only what
is established in the Divine and through the Divine
that can last and give satisfaction.
The sadhaka has to turn away entirely from the
invasion of the vital and the physical by the sex-impulse
for, if he does not conquer the sex-impulse there can
be no settling in the body of the divine consciousness
and the divine Ananda.
This Yoga demands a full ascension of the whole
lower or ordinary consciousness to join the spiritual
above it and a full descent of the spiritual into the mind,
life and body to transform it. The total ascent is im-
possible so long as sex-desire blocks the way ; the descent
is dangerous so long as sex-desire is powerful in the
vital. One must, therefore, clear this obstacle out of
the way ; otherwise there is either no safety or no free
movement towards finality in the sadhana.
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 189
To eliminate it one must first be careful to harbour
no sexual imagination or feeling in the waking state,
next, to put a strong will on the body and especially on
the sexual centre that there should be nothing of the
kind in sleep.
Inactivity is an atmosphere in which sex easily rises.
There are a number of women who can love with the
mind, the psychic, the vital (heart), but they shrink from
a touch on the body and even when that goes, the physical
act remains abhorrent to them. They may yield under
pressure, but it does not reconcile them to the act which
always seems to them animal and degrading. Women
know this, but men seem to find it hard to believe; but i.
is perfectly true.
The one serious matter is the sex-tendency. That
must be overcome. But it will be more easily overcome
if instead of being upset by its presence you detach the
inner being from it, rise up above it and view it as a
weakness of the lower nature.
In a general way the only method of succeeding in
having between a man and a woman the free and natural
yogic relations that should exist between a sadhak and a
190 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
sadhika in this Yoga is to be able to meet each other with-
out thinking at all that one is a man and another a woman
both are simply human beings, both sadhaks, both striv-
ing to serve the Divine and seeking the Divine alone and
none else. Have that fully in yourself and no difficulty
is likely to come.
All gross animal indulgence of sex tlesire and impulse
would have to be eliminated; it could only continue
among those who are not ready for the higher life or not
yet ready for a complete spiritual living.
It is true that the sex centre and its reactions can be
transformed and that an Ananda from above can come
4own to replace the animal sex reaction. The sex impulse
is a degradation of this Ananda.
Remember the following rules with regard to speech :
(1) Not to allow the impulse of speech to assert itself
too much or say anything without reflection, but to
speak always with a conscious control and only what is
necessary and helpful.
(2) To avoid all debates, dispute or too animated dis-
cussion and simply say what has to be said and leave it
there. There should also be no insistence that you are
.right and the others wrong, but what is said should
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 191
only be thrown in as a contribution to the consideration
of the truth of the matter.
(3) To keep the tone of speech and the wording very
quiet and calm and uninsistent.
(4) Not to mind at all if others are heated and dispute,
but remain quiet and undisturbed and yourself speak
only what can help things to be smooth again.
(5) If there is gossip about others and harsh criticism
(specially about sadhaks), not to join for these things
are helpful in no way and only lower the consciousness
from its higher level.
(6) To avoid all that would hurt or wound others.
A gossiping spirit is always an obstacle.
Speech is usually the expression of the superficial
nature; therefore to throw oneself out too much in such
speech wastes the energy and prevents the inward listen-
ing which brings the word of true knowledge. "Talk
less and gain power" has essentially the same meaning;
not only a truer knowledge, but a greater power comes to
one in the quietude and silence of the mind.
The Mother's warning to you against the undesirability
of too much talk, loose chat and gossip, social self-
dispersion was entirely meant and stands; when you
indulge in these things, you throw yourself out into a
192 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
very small and ignorant consciousness in which your
vital defects get free play and this is likely to bring you
out of what you have developed in your inner
The best way to get mastery over speech and action
is to learn to stand back from the outer mind and vital
and achieve an inner silence from which one can act on
the outer self. If one puts oneself in the true relation
with the Mother he will always get help as much as he
can receive or use.
Dissimulation and falsity of speech is an exceedingly
injurious habit of the lower nature. Those who are not
straightforward cannot profit by the Mother's help,
for they themselves turn it away. Unless they change,
they cannot hope for the descent of the supramental
Light and Truth into the lower vital and physical nature ;
they remain stuck in their own self-created mud and
Control of speech is very necessary for the physical
change. To minimise speech is sure to be helpful both
for right action and for inner sadhana.
Speech breaks out as the expression of the vital and
its habits, without caring to wait for the control of the
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 193
mind ; the tongue has been spoken of as the unruly
It is better to be more strict about not talking of
others and criticising them with the ordinary mind. It
is necessary in order to develop a deeper consciousness
and outlook on things that understands in silence the
movements of Nature in oneself and others and is not
moved or disturbed or superficially interested and drawn
into an external movement.
The sadhaks of this Ashram are not perfect they
have plenty of weaknesses and wrong movements. It is
blindness not to be able to see that ; only it should not
lead to a criticising or condemnatory attitude towards
persons and it should be regarded as the play of forces
which have to be overcome.
Yes, excessive hilarity and unnecessary chat do most
undoubtedly dissipate the force. A great moderation
is necessary in these things.
The Mother :
Be careful always to keep the living Presence and
Protection around you when you speak to people, and
speak as little as possible.
194 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It is the control over oneself that is the first thing
needed, and especially the control over one's tongue.
If people could learn to keep silent how many troubles
would be avoided !
It is a much greater and more fruitful austerity to
control one's speech than to abolish it altogether. The
world is deafened wth the noise of his speech and at
times you almost seem to miss the harmonious silence
of the vegetable kingdom. It is a well-known fact that
the less the mental power the greater is the need for
speech. The point of view of mental austerity does not
fall outside the category of talkativeness. For by talka-
tiveness I mean uttering any word that is not absolutely
If you are not alone and you live with others, cultivate
the habit not to throw yourself out constantly into
spoken words, you will see little by little that an inner
understanding has been established between you and
the others ; you will then be able to communicate with
each other with the minimum speech or no speech at
all. This outer silence is very favourable to inner peace
and if you have good will and constant aspiration you
will be able to create an atmosphere conducive to
You should always control the words you utter and
must not let your tongue be moved by an outburst of
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 195
anger, violence or temper. It is not merely the quarrel
itself which is bad in its results ; it is the fact that you
lend your tongue for the projection of bad vibrations
into the atmosphere, for nothing is more contagious
than the vibration of sound. Among the most undesirable
kinds of talkativeness should be included all that one
says about others. In any case and in a general way,
the less one speaks of others, even if it be in praise
of them the better it is. Already it is so difficult to
know exactly what happens in oneself, how to know
then with certainty what is happening in others. Re-
frain then from pronouncing upon any person one of those
irrevocable judgments which can only be stupidity, if
Besides, in the matter of inner life and spiritual effort,
the use of speech should be put under a still more stringent
rule : nothing should be spoken unless it is absolutely
necessary to do so.
A weak vital has not the strength to turn spiritually
and being weak, more easily falls under a wrong in-
fluence and even when it wants finds it difficult to accept
anything beyond its own habitual nature. The strong
vital, when the will is there, can do it much more easily.
But this must always be remembered that the vital
being and the life-force in man are separated from the
196 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Divine Light and, so separated, they are an instrument
for any power that can take hold of them, illumined or
obscure, divine or undivine. It is therefore only when
this vital is transformed and made a pure and strong
instrument of the Divine Shakti, that there can be a
divine life. It must be put in contact with the higher
consciousness, it must be surrendered to the true control,
it must be placed under the government of the Divine.
The vital must not only reject all lower movements,
but open and receive the light from above so that it
may receive and know the Divine Will and its impulsion
it can then be called enlightened.
The lower vital takes a mean and petty pleasure in pick-
ing out the faults of others and thereby one hampers
one's own progress and that of the subject of the. criticism.
But the vitaPs test is very foolish. If the sadhana goes
on whether you see the Mother or not, that would rather
show that the psychic connection is permanently there
and active always and does not depend on the physical
contact. The vital seems to think the sadhana ought to
cease if you would not see the Mother but that would
only mean that the love and devotion need the stimulus
of physical contact. The greatest test of love and devotion
is on the contrary when it burns as strongly in long
absence as in the presence. If your sadhana went on as
well on non-pranam as on Pranam days it would not
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 197
prove that love and devotion are not there, but that
they are so strong as to be self-existent in all circumstances.
There are ranges of consciousness above and below
the human range, with which the normal human ha
no contact and they seem to it unconscious.
The vital in its outer form in the ignorance generates
the desire-soul which governs most men and which they
mistake often for the real soul.
The vital as the desire-soul and desire-nature controls
the consciousness to a large extent in most men, because
men are governed by desire. It is the mental, vital,
physical ego that we take for our being until we get
Our experience is that tdo much vital eagerness, too
much insistence often blocks the way, it makes a sort of
obstructing mass or a whirl of restlessness and distur-
bance which leaves no quiet space for the Divine to get
in. The habit of this vital element starts up and takes
hold and interrupts the progress made.
When the vital takes the lead, then unrest, despondency,
unhappiness can always come, since these things are the
very nature of the vital the vital can never remain
198 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
constantly in joy and peace, for it needs their opposites
in order to have the sense of the drama of life. If the
psychic were always there in front, the desert would be
no longer a desert and the wilderness would blossom with
There are three obstacles that one has to overcome in
the vital and they are very difficult to overcome, lust
(sexual desire), wrath and rajasic ego.
These vital forces are around everywhere, and if one
opens the door to them, they come in wherever you are.
One who wants to do sadhana has no business to in-
dulge in such panics ; it is a weakness incompatible
with the demands of the Yoga and, if one cannot throw
it aside, it is safer not to try the Yoga. Each victory
gained over oneself means new strength to -gain more
When some weakness comes up you should take it
as an opportunity to know what is still to be done and
call down the strength into that part.
One cannot take advantage of any help given him
because his vital nature cherishes its weakness and is
always indulging and rhetorically expressing it instead
of throwing it away with contempt as a thing unworthy
of manhood and unfit for a sadhak. It is only if he so
OBSTACLES IN SADHANA 199
rejects it that he can receive strength and stand in life
or progress in the sadhana. This is a temperament which
the gods will not help because they know that help is
useless, for it will either not be received or will be
spilled and wasted.
It is this idea that you are helpless because the vital
consents to the wrong movement that comes in the way.
You have to put your inner will and the Mother's light
on the vital so that it shall change, not leave it to do what
it likes. The Mother's force can act, but on condition
that the assent of the being is there%
The human vital is almost always of that nature ; it
is by the use of the mental will that they discipline it,
compelling it to do not what it wants but what the reason
or the will sees to be right or desirable. In Yoga one
uses the inner will and compels the vital to submit itself
to tapasya so that it may become calm, strong, obedient.
The vital is a good instrument but a bad master. If
you allow it to follow its likes and dislikes, its fancies,
its desires, its bad habits, it becomes your master and
peace and happiness are no longer possible.
Put the Mother's notice henceforth at the door of your
vital being, "No falsehood hereafter shall ever enter
20O A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
here", and station a sentry there to see that it is put into
The lower vital has its place, it is not to be crushed
or killed, but it has to be changed, "caught hold of by
both ends", at the upper end a mastery and control,
at the lower end a right use. The main thing is to get
rid of attachment and desire ; it is then that an entirely
right use becomes possible.
It is better to be a stone on the road to the Divine than
soft and weak clay in the muddy paths of the ordinary
vital human nature.
The vital is too selfish to have any gratitude. The
more it gets the more it demands and it takes everything
as its right and every denial of what it wants as an
injustice and an offence.
The unregenerate vital in the average human nature
is not grateful for a benefit, it resents being under an
obligation. So long as the benefit continues, it is effusive
and says sweet things, as soon as it expects nothing more
it turns round and bites the hands that fed it. Sometimes
it does that even before, when it thinks it can do it without
the benefactor knowing the origin of the slander, fault-
finding or abuse. In all these dealings, of course, people
with a developed psychic element are by nature grateful
and do not behave in this way.
IF Art's service is but to imitate Nature, then burn all
the picture galleries and let us have instead photographic
studios. It is because Art reveals what Nature hides
that a small picture is worth more than all the jewels of
the millionaires and the treasures of the princes.
If you only imitate visible Nature, you will perpetrate
either a corpse, a dead sketch or a monstrosity; Truth
lives in that which goes behind and beyond the visible
It is wrong to measure the greatness of any art like
that. Each of the great arts has its own appeal and its
own way of appeal and each in its own way is supreme
above all others.
But great art is not satisfied with representing the
intellectual truth of things, which is always their super-
ficial or exterior truth; it seeks for a deeper and original
truth which escapes the eye of the mere sense or the
mere reason, the soul in them, the unseen reality which
is not that of their form and process but of their spirit....
Always the truth it seeks is first and foremost the truth
of beauty, not, again, the formal beauty alone or the
204 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
beauty of proportion and right process which is what
the sense and the reason seek, but the soul of beauty which
is hidden from the ordinary eye and the ordinary mind
and revealed in its fullness only to the unsealed vision
of the poet and artist in man who can seize the secret sig-
nificances of the universal poet and artist, the divine
creator who dwells as their soul and spirit in the forms
he has created.
The Mother :
Art is a means, not an end; it is a means of expression.
The personality of an artist counts no longer; he is an
agent, a channel, his art a. means of expressing his rela-
tions with the Divine. If you consider it in this light,
art is not very different from Yoga.
In India all her architecture, her sculpture, her painting
have proceeded from this source and were inspired by
this ideal. If they are true artists and try to see beyond
and use their art for the expression of the inner world,
they grow in consciousness by their concentration on the
subject. But most of those who call themselves artists
draw their inspiration from the vital world only; and
it carries in it no high or great significance.
THIS Ashram has been created with another object
than that ordinarily common to such institutions, not for
ASHRAM LIFE 2O5
the renunciation of the world but as a centre and a field of
practice for the evolution of another kind and form of
life which would in the final end be moved by a higher
spiritual consciousness and embody a greater life of the
This is not an Ashram like others the members are
not Sannyasis; it is not Moksha that is the sole aim of
the Yoga here. What is being done here is a preparation
for a work a work which will be founded on Yogic con-
sciousness and Yoga-Shakti, and can have no other
A sadhaka in the Ashram is expected to observe the
following conditions :
All physical sexual relations or connection between a
sadhak and sadhika are absolutely forbidden and inad-
missible in the Ashram.
All vital relations of a sexual character are contrary to
the sadhana and must also be given up by those who
wish to stay in the Ashram and progress in the Yoga.
Even husband and wife must stop aU conjugal relations
and regard each other as fellow-sadhaks only and not as
husband and wife. It is not as man and woman that the
sadhaks are here; they have not come here to continue
or to form vital or physical sexual relations between
themselves under any pretext but to practise Yoga.
Any sadhak forming vital relations with others under
the pretext of a psychic or spiritual relation is deceiving;
206 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
himself and violating the Truth and breaking the rule
of the Yoga.
No sadhak should worship another sadhak or look
on him *as the embodied Divine; such movements are
contrary to the sadhana and to the discipline of the
Ashram and create false movements in the atmosphere.
You are not yet ready or fit as yet for life in the Ashram.
There are certain weaknesses of the adhara (especially
of the vital nature and the physical mind) which must be
got rid of before you should think of joining the Ashram.
To practise Yoga, as a member of the Ashram is to push
yourself into the centre of a pressure for transformation
of the whole being and, especially just now, of the physical
mind and the lower vital nature, which that mind in you
and your nervous parts in their present impurity and
weakness might not be able to bear. It is our repeated
experience that those who have this weakness are better
outside the Ashram where they can slowly prepare and
purify themselves without any premature pressure.
The Mother and I are equal. Also she is supreme
here and has the right to arrange the work as she thinks
best for the work, no one has any right or claim or pro-
prietorship over any work that may be given to him.
The Ashram is the Mother's creation and would not
have existed but for her, the work she does is her creation
and has not been given to her and cannot be taken from
her. Try to understand this elementary truth, if you want
to have any right relation or attitude towards the Mother.
The Mother :
Don't judge on appearances and do not listen to what
people say, because these two things are misleading.
There is in the Ashram no exterior discipline and no
visible test. But the inner test is severe and constant,
one must be very sincere in the aspiration to surmount all
egoism and to conquer all vanity in order to be able to
stay here. A complete surrender is not outwardly exacted
but it is indispensable for those who wish to stick on, and
many things come to test the sincerity of this surrender.
However, the Grace and the help are always there for
tho$e who aspire for them and their power is limitless
when received with faith and confidence.
BEAUTY is as much an expression of the Divine as Know-
ledge, Power or Ananda. Does any one ask why does
the Mother want to manifest the divine consciousness
by knowledge or by power and not by ignorance and
weakness ? It would not be a more .absurd or meaning-
less question than the one put by the vital against her
wearing artistic and beautiful dress. Is it your notion
208 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
that the Divine should be represented on earth by poverty
and ugliness ?
Outer things are the expression of something in the
inner reality. A fine sari or a palace are expressions of the
principle of beauty in things and that is their main
value. The Divine Consciousness is not bound by these
things and has no attachment, but it is also not bound
to abstain from them if beauty in things is part of its
intended action. The Mother, when the Ashram was
still unformed, was wearing patched cotton saris. When
she took up the work, it was necessary to change her
habits, so she did so.
To find highest beauty is to find God; to reveal, to
embody, to create as we say, highest beauty is to bring
out of our souls the living image and power of God*
The Mother :
It is one of the greatest weapons of the Asura at work
when you are taught to shun beauty. It has been the
ruin of India. The Divine manifests in the psychic as
love, in the mind as knowledge, in the vital as power
and in the physical as beauty. If you discard beauty
it means that you are depriving the Divine of his mani-
festation in the material and you hand over that part
to the Asura.
In the physical world, of all things it is beauty that
expresses best the Divine. The physical world is the
world of forms and the perfection of forms is beauty.
Beauty interprets, expresses, manifests the Eternal. Its
role is to put all manifested nature in contact with the
Eternal through the perfection of form, through harmony
and a sense of the ideal which uplifts and leads towards
THE higher consciousness is a concentrated consciousness,
concentrated in the Divine Unity and in the working
out of the Divine Will, not dispersed and rushing about
after this or that mental idea or vital desire or physical
need as in the ordinary human consciousness also
not invaded by a hundred haphazard thoughts, feelings
and impulses, but master of itself, centred and
In the externalised consciousness obscurity and
suffering can always be there; the more the internalised
consciousness reigns, the more these things are pushed
back and out, and with the full internalised conscious-
ness they cannot remain.
There are always two different consciousnesses in
the human being, one outward in which he ordinarily
lives, the other inward and concealed of which he knows
210 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
nothing. When one does sadhana, the inner conscious
ness begins to open and one is able to go inside and
have all kinds of experiences there. As the sadhana
progresses, one begins to live more and more in this
inner being and the outer becomes more and more
superficial. At first the inner consciousness seems
to be the dream and the outer the waking reality. After-
wards the inner consciousness becomes the reality and
the outer is felt by many as a dream or delusion, or
else something superficial and external. The inner
consciousness begins to be a place of deep peace, light,
happiness, love, closeness to the Divine or the presence
of the Divine, the Mother. One is then aware of two
consciousnesses, the inner one and the outer which
has to be changed into its counterpart and instrument
that also must become full of peace, light, union with
To be too much occupied in mind with the outer
difficulties keeps the consciousness externalised. Living
inwardly you will find the Mother close to you and
realise her will and her action.
All that exists or can exist in this or any other universe
can be rendered into terms of consciousness; there is
nothing that cannot be known. This knowing need not
be always a mental knowledge. For the greater part of
existence is either above or below mind, and mind can
DARSHANS, BLESSINGS 211
know only indirectly what is above or what is below it.
But the one true and complete way of knowing is by
The Unmanifested Supreme is beyond all definition
and description by mind or speech; no definition the
mind can make, affirmative or negative, which can be
at all expressive of it or adequate.
THERE is the utility of the physical approach to the
Mother the approach of the embodied mind and vital
to her embodied Power. In her universal action the
Mother acts according to the law of things in her
embodied physical action is the opportunity of a constant
Grace it is for that the embodiment takes place.
The Divine Mother is the Consciousness and Force
of the Divine which is the Mother of all things.
It is certainly quite true that the psychic contact can
exist at a distance and that the Divine is not limited by
place, but is everywhere. It is not necessary for every-
body to be in the Ashram or physically near the Mother
in order to lead the spiritual life or to practise the Yoga,
especially in its early stages. But it is only one side of
the truth; there is another, otherwise the logical conclu-
sion might be that there was no necessity for the Mother
212 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
to be here at all, or for the existence of the Ashram, or
for anyone to come here.
The psychic being is there in all, but in very few it is
well developed, well built up in the consciousness or
prominent in the front; in most it is veiled, often in-
effective or only an influence, not conscious enough or
strong enough to support the spiritual life. It is for this
reason that it is necessary for those drawn towards this
Truth to come here in order that they may receive the
touch which will bring about or prepare the awakening
of the psychic being that is for them the beginning of
the effective psychic contact.
When the touch has been given or the development
effected, so far as the sadhak is at the moment capable
of it, he returns to the outside world and under the pro-
tection and guidance even at a distance is able to keep
the contact and go on with his spiritual life. But the
influences of the outside world are not favourable to the
psychic contact and the psychic development and, if the
sadhak is not sufficiently careful or concentrated, the
psychic contact may easily be lost after a time or get
covered over and the development may become retarded,,
stationary or even diminished by adverse movements or
influences. It is for that the necessity exists and is often
felt of a return to the place of the central influence in
order to fortify or recover the contact or to restore or give
a fresh forward impulse to the development.
The physical nearness to the Mother is indispensable
for the fullness of the sadhana on the physical plane*
DARSHANS, BLESSINGS 213
Transformation of the physical and external being is not
The right attitude to approach the Mother when she
sees one is to keep the being perfectly quiet and open to
receive, without any activity of the mind or desire in the
vital, with only the surrender and the psychic readiness
to accept whatever is given.
The physical contact of the Mother means for her an
interchange, a pouring out of her forces and a receiving
of things good, bad and mixed from them which often
involves a great labour of adjustment and elimination,
and in many cases, a severe strain on the body.
The best way for Darshan is to keep oneself very col-
lected and quiet and open to receive whatever the Mother
During Darshans and Blessings, the time has nothing
to do with it. One hour's touch or a moment's touch
as much can be given by the one as by the other. The
Mother gives in both ways. Through the eyes it is to
the psychic, through the hand to the material.
It is when the Mother puts her force into the flower
that it becomes more than a symbol. It then can become
very effective if there is receptivity in the one who
214 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
DEATH AND REBIRTH
THE soul takes birth each time, and each time a mind, life
and body are formed out of the materials of universal
Nature, according to the soul's past evolution and its need
for the future. When the body is dissolved after death,
the vital goes into the vital plane and remains there for a
time, but after a time the vital sheath disappears. The
last to dissolve is the mental sheath. Finally the soul or
psychic being retires into the psychic world to rest there
till a new birth is close.
The soul gathers the essential elements of its expe-
riences in life and makes that its basis of growth in the
evolution; when it returns to birth it takes up with its
mental, vital, physical sheaths so much of its Karma as
is useful to it in the new life for farther experience.
It is really for the vital part of the being that Sraddha
and rites are done to help the being to get rid of the
vital vibrations which still attach it to the earth or to the
vital worlds, so that it may pass quickly to its rest in the
The soul comes into birth for experience, for growth,
for evolution till it can bring the Divine into matter.
It is the central being that incarnates, not the outer
personality the personality is simply a mould that it
creates for its figures of experience in that one life. In
another birth it will create for itself a different perso-
DEATH AND REBIRTH 215
nality^ different capacities, a different life and career.
It is not the personality, the character that is of the
first importance in rebirth it is the psychic being who
stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves
with it. The psychic when it departs from the body,
shedding even the mental and vital on its way to its
resting place, carries with it the heart of its experiences.
That is the permanent addition, it is that that helps
in the growth towards the Divine.
Death is there because the being in the body is not
yet developed enough to go on growing in the same
body without the need of change and the body itself
is not sufficiently conscious. If the mind and vital
and the body itself were more conscious and plastic,
death would not be necessary.
At the time of death the being goes out of the body
through the head; it goes out in the subtle body and
goes to different planes of existence for a short time
until it has gone through certain experiences which
are the result of its earthly existence. Afterwards it
reaches the psychic world where it rests in a kind of
sleep, until it is time for it to start a new life on earth.
That is what happens usually but there are some
beings who are more developed and do not follow this
2l6 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The soul does not go back to animal condition; but a
part of the vital personality may disjoin itself and join
an animal birth to work out its animal propensities there.
There is after death a period in which one passes
through the vital world and lives there for a time. It is
only the first part of this transit that can be dangerous
or painful One can help departed souls by one's good
will or by occult means, if one has the knowledge. The
one thing that one should not do is to hold them back
by sorrow for them or longing or by anything else that
would pull them nearer to earth or delay their journey
to their place of rest.
Usually, a soul follows continuously the same line of
sex. If there are shiftings of sex, it is, as a rule, a matter
of parts of the personality which are not central.
No rule can be laid with regard to what time the
psychic being joins the new body, for these circumstances
vary with the individual. Some psychic beings get
into relation with the birth-environment and the parents
from the time of inception and determine the preparation
of the personality and future in the embryo, others join
only at the time of delivery, others even later on in the
life and in these cases it is some emanation of the psychic
being which upholds the life. It should be noted that
the conditions of the future birth are determined funda-
mentally not during the stay in the psychic world but
DEATH AND REBIRTH 217
at the time of death the psychic being then chooses
what it should work out in the next terrestrial appearance
and the conditions arrange themselves accordingly.
Note that the idea of rebirth and the circumstances of
the new life as a reward or punishment for punya or
papa is a crude human idea of "justice" which is quite
unphilosophical and unspiritual and distorts the true
intention of life. Life here is an evolution and the soul
grows by experience, working out by it this or that in
the nature, and if there is suffering, it is for the purpose
of that working out, not as a judgment inflicted by God
or Cosmic Law on the errors or stumblings which are
inevitable in the Ignorance.
But the soul, the psychic being, once having reached
the human consciousness cannot go back to the inferior
aniinad consciousness any more than it can go back into
a tree or an ephemeral insect. What is true is that some
part of the vital energy or the formed instrumental
consciousness or nature can and very frequently does
so, if it is strongly attached to anything in the earth
life. This may account for some cases of immediate
rebirth with full memory in human forms also. Ordi-
narily, it is only by Yogic development or by clairvoyance
that the exact memory of past lives can be brought
21 8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The psychic does not give up the mental and other
sheaths immediately at death. It is said that it takes
three years on the whole to get clear away from the
zone of communicability with the earth though there
may be cases of slower or quicker passage.
All kinds of work are equal before the Divine and all
men have the same Brahman within them is one truth,
but that development is not equal in all is another. The
idea that it needs a special punya to be born as a Bhangi
is, of course, one of those forceful exaggerations of an
idea which are common with the Mahatma and impress
greatly the mind of his hearers. But obviously the
cultural development is more valuable than the service
of the physical needs for the progress of humanity as
opposed to its first static condition, and that develop-
ment can even lead to the minimising and perhaps the
entire disappearance by scientific inventions of the need
of the functions of the scavenger. In any case, it is not
true that the Bhangi life is superior to the Brahmin
life and the reward of a special righteousness. On the
other hand, the traditional conception that a man is
superior to others because he is bora a Brahmin is not
rational or justifiable.
The Mother :
In rebirth it is only the psychic being that passes
from body to body. Logically, then, neither the mental
nor the vital being can remember past lives or recog-
nise itself in the character or mode of life of this or
that person. The psychic being alone can remember;
and it is by becoming conscious of our psychic being
that we can have at the same time exact impressions
about our past lives.
THIS constant disobedience and indiscipline is a radical
obstacle to the sadhana and the worst possible example
It is a deficiency of psychic perception and spiritual
discrimination that makes people to ignore the im-
portance of obedience. It is the mind wanting to follow
its own way of thinking and the vital seeking freedom
for its desires. The obedience is necessary so as to get
away from one's own mind and vital and learn to follow
The discipline has been laid down (in the Ashram)
by the Mother to break it is disobedience to the Divine.
It is when you are free from the lower Nature that
Mother's will is the Law. When subject to lower Nature,
the lower Nature is constantly disobeying the Divine Will.
220 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
DOCTORS AND DISEASES
THE Mother and I have no preference for allopathy.
The Mother thinks doctors very usually make things
worse instead of better by spoiling Nature's resistance
to illness by excessive and ill-directed use of their
Medical Science has been more a curse to mankind
than a blessing. It has weakened the natural health of
man and multiplied individual diseases ; it has im-
planted fear and dependence in the mind and body;
it has taught our health to repose not on natural sound-
ness but a rickety and distasteful witch compact from
the mineral and vegetable kingdo.m.
It is not the medicine that cures so much as the patient's
faith in the doctor and the medicine. Both are a clumsy
substitute for the natural faith in one's own self-power
which they have themselves destroyed.
The healthiest ages of mankind were those in which
there were the fewest material remedies. We ought to
use the divine health in us to cure and prevent diseases.
Health protected by twenty-thousand precautions is
the gospel of the doctors; but it is not God's evangel for
the body, nor Nature's.
Man was once naturally healthy and could revert to
that primal condition if he were suffered; but Medical
Science pursues our body with an innumerable pack
of drugs and assails the imagination with ravening hordes
It should take long for self-cure to replace medicine;
because of the fear, self-distrust and unnatural physical
reliance on drugs which Medical Science has taught to
our minds and bodies and made our second nature.
Distrust of the curative power within us was our physi-
cal fall from Paradise. Medical Science and a bad here-
dity are the two angels of God who stand at the gates to
forbid our return and re-entry.
IT is true of every soul on earth that it is a portion of the
Divine Mother passing through the experiences of the
Ignorance in order to arrive at the truth of its being and
be the instrument of a Divine Manifestation and work
here. The body is meant for keeping the Divine con-
sciousness linked to the physical world.
I think I made it clear... that sport was not sadhana,.
that it belonged to what I called the lower end of things,
but that it might be used not merely for amusement
or recreation or the maintenance of health, but for a
greater efficiency of the body and for the development
of certain qualities and capacities, not of the body only
but of morale and discipline and the stimulation of
mental energies : but I pointed out also that these could
be and were developed by other means and that there
were limitations to this utility. In fact, it is only by
222 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
sadhana that one could go beyond the limits natural
to the lower end means....
For the immediate object of my endeavours is to estab-
lish spiritual life on earth and for that the first necessity
must always be to realise the Divine; only then cafi life be
spiritualised or what I have called the Life Divine be
made possible; the creation of something that could be
called a divine body could be only an ulterior aim under-
taken as part of this transformation.
We do not want only sportsmen in the Ashram :
that would make it not an Ashram but a playground.
The sports and physical exercises are primarily for the
children of the school. The younger sadhaks are allowed,
not enjoined or even recommended, to join in these
sports, but certainly they are not supposed to be sports-
men only : they have other and more important things
to do.... In the old Ashrams the boys and young men who
were brought up in them were trained in many things
belonging to life.... To concentrate most on one's own
spiritual growth and experience is the first necessity
of the sadhak.
The first principle of true teaching is that nothing can
be taught. The teacher is not an instructor or task-master,
he is a helper and a guide. His business is to suggest and
not to impose. He does not actually train the pupil's
mind, he only shows him how to perfect his instruments
of knowledge and helps and encourages him in the
process. He does not impart knowledge to him, he shows
him how to acquire knowledge for himself. The idea
of hammering the child into the shape desired by the
parent or teacher is a barbarous and ignorant superstition.
It is a selfish tyranny over a human soul and a wound to
a nation, which loses the benefit of the best that a man
could have given it. The chief aim of education should
be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which
is best and make it perfect for a noble use. A free and
natural growth is the condition of genuine development.
The only way for him to train himself morally is to
habituate himself to the right emotions, the noblest
associations, the best mental, emotional and physical
habits and the following out in right action of the funda-
mental impulses of his essential nature. You can impose
a certain discipline on children, dress them into a certain
mould, lash them into a desired path, but unless you
can get their hearts and natures on your side, the con-
formity to this imposed rule becomes a hypocritical
and heartless, a conventional, often a cowardly
The first rule of moral training is to suggest and
invite, not command or impose.
The thirst of knowledge, the self-devotion, the purity,
the renunciation of the Brahmin, the courage, the
ardour, honour, nobility, chivalry, patriotism of the
Kshatriya, the beneficence, skill, industry, generous
224 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
enterprise and large open-handedness of the Vaishya r
the self-effacement and loving service of the Sudra,
these are the qualities of the Aryan. They constitute
the moral temper we desire in our young men in the
whole nation. But how can we get them if we do not
give opportunities to the young to train themselves in
the Aryan tradition ?
Wildness and recklessness of many young nature? are
only the overflowings of an excessive strength, greatness
and nobility. They should be purified, not discouraged.
Religion has to be lived, not learned as a creed. No
religious teaching is of any value unless it is lived, and
the use of various kinds of Sadhana, spiritual self-
training and exercise is the only effective preparation
for religious living.
Every child is an inquirer, an investigator, an analyser,
a merciless anatomist. Appeal to those qualities in
him and let him acquire without knowing it the right
temper and the necessary fundamental knowledge of
the scientist. Every child has an insatiable intellectual
curiosity and turn for metaphysical enquiry. Use it to
draw him on slowly to an understanding of the world
It is by allowing Nature to work that we get the bene-
fit of the gifts she has bestowed on us. Humanity in
its education of children has chosen to thwart and hamper
her processes and, by so doing, has done much to thwart
and hamper the rapidity of its onward march.
The Mother :
An aimless life is always a miserable life. Everyone
should have an aim. But do not forget that on the
quality of your aim will depend the quality of your life.
Your aim should be high and wide, generous and dis-
interested ; this will make your life precious to yourself
and to all.
But whatever your ideal, it cannot be perfectly realised
unless you have realised perfection in yourself; and to
work for your perfection the first step is to become con-
scious of yourself, of the different parts of your being
and their respective activities.
In its natural state the human mind is always limited
in its vision, narrow in its understanding, rigid in its
conceptions, and a certain effort is needed to enlarge it.
Knowledge belongs to a region much higher than
that of the human mind. The mind has to be made
silent and attentive in order to receive knowledge from
above and manifest it.
The education of a human being should begin at his
very birth and continue throughout the whole length
226 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
of his life ; and the education to be complete must have
five principal aspects : the physical, the vital, the mental,
the psychic and the spiritual.
The first thing to do in order to be able to educate
the child, is to educate oneself, to become conscious
and master of oneself so that one does not set a bad
example to one's child. For it is through example that
education becomes effective. To say good words, give
wise advice to a child has very little effect, if one does
not show by one's living example the truth of what one
If you wish to be respected by your child, have res-
pect for yourself and be at every moment worthy of
respect. Never be arbitrary, despotic, impatient, ill-
tempered. When your child asks you a question, do
not answer him by a stupidity or a foolishness, under
the pretext that he cannot understand you.
Do not scold your child except with a definite purpose
and only when quite indispensable. A child too often
scolded gets hardened to rebuke and comes to attach
little importance to words or severity of tone. Parti-
cularly, take care not to rebuke him for a fault which
you yourself commit.
...When a child has made a mistake, see that he con-
fesses it to you spontaneously and frankly; and when
he has confessed, make him understand with kindness
and affection what was wrong in his movement and
that he should not repeat it. In any case, never scold
him; a fault confessed must be forgiven. You should
not allow any fear to slip in between you and your child;
fear is a disastrous way to education.
...If the child, from the very beginning of his existence,
takes to good habits, that will save him a good deal of
trouble and inconvenience during the whole of his life.
Bad habits are formed too early and too quickly that
may have disastrous consequences for the whole life.
...He must avoid, in his daily food, all that merely
stuffs and causes heaviness; particularly, he must be
taught to eat according to his hunger, neither more
nor less, and not to make food an occasion to satisfy
his greed and gluttony. From one's very childhood,
one should know that one eats in order to give to the
body strength and health, and not to enjoy the pleasures
of the palate.
...It is not fair to demand services from a child, as if
it is his duty to serve his parents. The contrary would
be more true : certainly it is natural that parents should
serve their children, at least take great care of them.
It is only if the child chooses freely to work for the family
and does the work as a play that the thing is admissible.
...The child must be shown, made to appreciate,
taught to love beautiful, lofty, healthy and noble things,
whether in nature or in human creation. The sovereign
228 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
means is to rouse in the child interest in the things that
one wishes to teach, the taste for work 3 the will to pro-
gress. To love to learn is the most precious gift that
one can make to a child; to love to learn always and
...Studies strengthen the mind and turn the attention
from concentrating on the impulses and desires of the
vital. Concentrating on studies is one of the most power-
ful means of controlling the mind and the vital; that is
why it is so important to study.
...If the power of concentration and attention is
continuously cultivated, the active external consciousness
will allow only those thoughts that are needed and then
they become all the more dynamic and effective. And
if, in the intensity of concentration, it is necessary not
to think at all, all mental vibration can be stopped and
an almost total silence secured. In this silence one can
open gradually to the higher mental regions and learn
to record the inspirations that come from there.
The art of giving rest to one's mind is a thing to be
acquired. Changing mental activity is a way of rest;
but the greatest possible r*st lies in silence.
Every human being carries hidden within him the
possibility of a greater consciousness beyond the frame
of his normal life through which he can participate in
a higher and vaster life. What the human mind does
not know and cannot do, this consciousness knows and
The first and most important point which must never
be forgotten is that with the mind it is impossible to
judge of spiritual things. All who have written on
yogic discipline have said so, but very few are those
who put it into practice and yet, in order to proceed
on the path, it is absolutely indispensable to abstain
from all mental judgment, mental opinion and reaction.
Give up all personal seeking for comfort, satisfaction,
enjoyment or happiness. Be only a burning fire for
progress, take whatever comes to you as a help for
progress and make at once the progress required.
Try to take pleasure in all you do, but never do any-
thing for the sake of pleasure. Never get excited, nervous
or agitated. Remain perfectly quiet in the face of any-
thing and everything. And yet be always awake to
find out the progress you have still to make and lose
no time in making it.
The Vital in man's nature, is a despotic and exacting
tyrant. It is a master that is satisfied by nothing and
its demands have no limit. The conviction that makes
one believe that one has the right to be happy leads,
as a matter of course, towards the will to live one's life
230 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
at any cost. This attitude in its obscure and aggressive
egoism brings about every conflict and misery, deception
and discouragement, ending often in a catastrophe.
In the world, as it actually is, the goal of life is not to
secure personal happiness, but to awaken the individual
progressively towards the truth-consciousness.
The spiritual consciousness means to live the infinite
and eternal, to throw oneself outside all creation, beyond
time and space. To become fully aware of your psychic
being and to live a psychic life you must abolish in you
all selfishness; but to live a spiritual life you must be
A PROGRESSIVE evolution of the visible and invisible
instruments of the Spirit is the whole law of the earth
nature. Spirit has concealed itself in inconscient matter.
It evolves into forms of matter by the working of matter
forces. It is only when this has been sufficiently done,
that it thinks of life. A subconscient life and its im-
prisoned forces were there all the time in matter and its
forces. Afterwards came an evolution of mind in many
forms by the working of liberated mind-forces. In those
life-forces in matter and even in the very substance of
matter mind was latent. An evolution of mind in the
living form by a working of liberated mind-force was
the third chapter of the story. The third chapter is not
completed, neither will it be the end of the narrative.
The evolution of the earth-nature is not finished
because it has manifested only three powers out of the
seven-fold scale of consciousness that is involved in
manifested Nature. It has brought out from its apparent
inconscience only the three powers of Mind and Life
The supramental change is a thing decreed and in-
evitable in the evolution of the earth-consciousness; for
its upward ascent is not ended and mind is not its last
The earth is a material field of evolution. Mind and
Life, Supermind, Sachchidananda are in principle
involved there in the earth consciousness; but only
matter is at first organised; then life descends from the
life plane and gives shape and organisation and activity
to the life principle in matter, creates the plant and
animal; then mind descends from the mind plane, creating
man. Now Supermind is to descend so as to create
a supramental race.
The Prakriti itself is divided into the lower and higher,
the lower is the Prakriti of the Ignorance, the Prakriti
of mind, life and matter separated in consciousness from
232 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the Divine; the higher is the Divine Prakriti of Sach-
chidananda with its manifesting power of Supermind,
always aware of the Divine and free from Ignorance and
its consequences. Man so long as he is in the ignorance
is subject to the lower Prakriti, but by spiritual evolution
he becomes aware of the higher Nature and seeks to
come into contact with it.
The material world has evolved life in obedience to
a pressure from the vital plane, mind in obedience to
a pressure from the mental plane, It is now trying to
evolve supermind in obedience to a pressure from the
It is something new that has manifested here and it
is that that makes the creation worth while. What for
instance would be the utility of a supramental creation
on earth if it were just the same thing as a supramental
creation on the supramental plane ? It is that, in
principle, but yet something else, a triumphant new
self-discovery of the Divine in conditions that are not
Out of this apparent Inconscience each potentiality is
revealed in its turn, first organised Matter concealing the
indwelling Spirit, the Life emerging in the plant and as-
sociated in the animal with a growing Mind, the Mind
Itself evolved and organised in Man. This evolution,
this spiritual progression does it stop short here in the
imperfect mental being called Man ? In this vision each
stage of evolution appears as due to the descent of a
higher and higher Power 01 consciousness, raising the
terrestrial level, creating a new stratum, but the highest
yet remain to descend and it is by their descent that the
riddle of terrestrial existence will receive its solution
and not only the soul but Nature herself find her
Division, ego, the imperfect consciousness and groping
and struggle of a separate self-affirmation are the efficient
causes of the suffering and ignorance of this world. Once
consciousnesses separated from the one consciousness,
they fell inevitably into Ignorance and the last result of
Ignorance was Inconscience; from a dark immense
Inconscient this material world arises and out of it a soul
that by evolution is struggling into consciousness, attracted
towards the hidden Light, ascending but still blindly
towards the lost Divinity from which it came....
It is by entering into that greater consciousness alone
that one can grasp the inevitability of its self-creation
and its purpose. To rise to that height of liberation is
the true way out and the only means of the indubitable
But that liberation and transcendence need not neces-
sarily impose a disappearance, a sheer dissolving cut
from the manifestation; it can prepare a liberation into
action of the highest Knowledge and an intensity of
234 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Power that can transform the world and fulfil the evo-
lutionary urge. It is an ascent from which there is no
longer a fall but a winged or self-sustained descent of
light, force and Ananda....
As long as the outward personality we call ourselves is
centred in the lower powers of consciousness, the riddle
of its own existence, its purpose, its necessity is to it an
It is only by rising towards a higher consciousness
beyond the line and therefore superconscient now to him
that he can emerge from his inability and his ignorance.
His full liberation and enlightenment will come when
he crosses the line into the light of a new superconscient
But this crossing of the line if turned not only to an
ascending but to a descending purpose would mean the
transformation of the line from what it now is, a lid, a
barrier, into a passage for the higher powers of con-
sciousness of the Being now above it. It would mean
a new creation on earth, a bringing in of the ultimate
powers which would reverse the conditions here in as
much as that would produce a creation raised into the
full flood of spiritual and supramental light in place of
one emerging into a half-light of mind out of a darkness
of material inconscience....
If the redemption of the soul from the physical vesture
be the object, then there is no need of supramentalisation.
Spiritual Mukti and Nirvana are sufficient. If the object
is to rise to supraphysical planes, then also there is no
need of supramentalisation. One can enter into some
heaven above by devotion to the Lord of that heaven.
But that is no progression. The other worlds are typal
worlds, each fixed in its own kind and type and law.
Evolution takes place on the earth and therefore the earth
is the proper field for progression. The beings of the
other worlds do not progress from one world to another.
They remain fixed to their own type.
In a general way, a life is only one brief episode in a
long history of spiritual evolution in which the soul
follows the curve of the line set for the earth, passing
through many lives to complete it. It is an evolution out
of material inconscience to consciousness and towards
the Divine Consciousness, from ignorance to Divine
Knowledge, from darkness through half-light to Light,
from death to Immortality, from suffering to the Divine
Bliss. Suffering is due first to the Ignorance, secondly
to the separation of the individual consciousness from the
Divine Consciousness and Being, a separation created
by the Ignorance when that ceases, when one lives in
the Divine and no more .in one's separated smaller self,
then only suffering can altogether cease.
With regards Supramental, what is more likely to happen
is that the principle will be established in the evolution
236 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
by the descent just as the mental principle was established
by the appearance of thinking Mind and Man in earthly
life. There will be a race of supramental beings on the
earth just as now there is a race of mental beings. Man
himself will find a greater possibility of rising to the
planes intermediary between his mind and Supermind
and making their powers effective in his life, which will
mean a great change in humanity on earth.
One should not attach too much importance to the life
of the body. The body is only an incident in the progress
of the soul. Evolution of the soul is the objective of
Karmic existence. When one has realised the soul,
knowledge and enlightenment come and all the problems
are solved. But before that, one should try to get peace,
calm and light.
The human being on earth is God playing at humanity
in a world of matter under the conditions of a hampered
density with the ulterior intention of imposing law of
spirit on matter and nature of deity upon human nature.
Evolution is nothing but the progressive unfolding of
Spirit out of the density of material consciousness and
the gradual self-revelation of God out of this apparent
animal being. Yoga is the application, for this process
of divine self-revelation.
EXPERIENCES VISIONS 237
The Mother :
As Nature has already created upon earth a mental
being, even so, there is now a concentrated activity to bring
forth in this mentality a supramental consciousness and
individuality. We have here the peerless privilege of
being at the very centre of the radiating light, at the
source of the force of transformation.
Sri Aurobindo incarnated in a human body the supra-
mental consciousness and has not only revealed to us the
nature of the path to follow and the method of following
it so as to arrive at the goal, but has also by his own
personal realisation given us the example; he has provided
us, so to say, the proof that the thing can be done and the
time is now to do it.
THE more intense the experiences that come, the higher
the forces that descend, the greater become the possi-
bilities of deviation and error. For the very intensity
and the very height of the force excites and aggrandises
the movements of the lower nature and raises up in it all
opposing elements in their full force, but often in the dis-
guise of truth, wearing a mask of plausible justification.
There is needed a great patience, calm, sobriety, balance,,
238 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
an impersonal detachment and sincerity free from all
taint of ego or personal human desire. There must be
no attachment to any idea of one's own, to any experience,
to any kind of imagination, mental building or vital
demand; the light of discrimination must always play
to detect those things, however fair or plausible they
may seem. Otherwise, the Truth will have no chance of
establishing itself in its purity in the nature.
It would be a great mistake to interfere with the images
rising in you. It does not matter whether they are mental
or psychic. One must have experience not only of the
true psychic, but of the inner mental, inner vital and
subtle physical worlds or planes of consciousness. The
occurrences of the images is a sign that these are opening
and to inhibit them would mean to inhibit the expansion
of consciousness and experience without which this
Yoga cannot be done.
Inner vision is vivid like actual sight, always precise
and contains a truth in it. The inner vision can see
objects, but it can see instead the vibration of the forces
which act through the object. The mental visions are
meant to bring in the mind the influence of the things
they represent. The cosmic vision is the seeing of the
universal movements it has nothing to do with the
EXPERIENCES VISIONS 239
The human mind's activities come very much in the
way of receiving the higher knowledge. During the
experience the mind should be quiet. After the expe-
rience is over it can be active. If it is active while it is
there, the experience may stop altogether. The attempt
of the mind and vital to seize on the experience is always
one of the chief obstacles.
One of the first needs in our Yoga is a discrimination
and a psychic tact distinguishing the false from the
true, putting each thing in its place and giving it its true
value or absence of value, not carried away by the excite-
ment of the mind or the vital being.
It is not usually good to tell the experiences to others.
It weakens the experience and tends to bring down the
Telling of one's own experiences to others is very
much discouraged by most Yogis they say it is harmful
to the sadhana. I have certainly seen and heard of any
number of instances in which people were having a
flow of experiences and, when they told, the flow was
lost. I suppose however it ceases to apply after one has
reached a certain long-established stability in the
experience, that is to say when the experience amounts
240 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
to a definite and permanent realisation, something
finally and irrevocably added to the consciousness.
The consciousness from which these experiences
come is always there pressing to bring them in. The reason
why they don't come in freely or stay is the activity of
the mind and vital always rushing about thinking this,
wanting that, trying to perform mountaineering feats
on all the hillocks of the lower nature instead of nourish-
ing a strong and simple aspiration and opening to the
higher consciousness that it may come in and do its own
Experiences come first in this isolated way, afterwards
more frequently and for longer periods, then they settle.
In some they settle at once, but that is rare. In some they
persist recurring till they are settled, that is less rare. In
others the occurrence is at first at long intervals and
waits for the consciousness to be ready.
It is quite right and part of the right consciousness
in sadhana that you should feel drawn in your heart
towards the Mother and aspire for the vision and realisa-
tion of her presence. But there should not be any kind
of restlessness joined to this feeling. The feeling should
be quietly intense. It will then be easier for the sense of
the presence to come and grow in you.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 241
Aspire to realisation, but do not be over eager. Keep
yourself quietly open and allow the Mother's force to
work in you, that will bring the necessary realisation,
Things inside can be seen as distinctly as outward
things whether in an image by the subtle vision or in
their essence by a still more subtle and powerful way of
seeing; but all these things have to develop in order to
get their full power and intensity.
The sounds or voices you hear are like the sights
(persons, objects) you see. As there is an inner sight
other than the physical, so there is an inner hearing other
than that of the external ear, and it can listen to voices
and sounds and words of other worlds, other times
and places, or those which come from supraphysical
beings. But here you must be careful. If conflicting voices
try to tell you what to do or not to do, you should not
listen to them or reply. It is only myself and the Mother
who can tell you what you should or should not do or
guide or advise you.
ALL attachment is a hindrance to sadhana. Goodwill
you should have for all, psychic kindness for all, but
no vital attachment.
242 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The love of the sadhak should be for the Divine. It is
only when he has that fully that he can love others in
the right way.
EIGHT CHAKRAS IN THE BODY :
The Mulddhdra governs the physical down to the
The abdominal centre Svddhi$thdna governs the
The navel centre^Ndbhipadma or Manipur governs
the larger vital.
The heart centre Hrdpadma or Andhata governs
the emotional being.
The throat centre Visuddha governs the expressive
and externalising mind.
The centre between the eye-brows Ajndcakra
governs the dynamic mind, will, vision, mental formation.
The thousand-petalled lotus Sahasradala above,
commands the higher thinking mind.
In our Yoga we mean by the subconscient that quite
submerged part of our being in which there is no wakingly
conscious and coherent thought, will or feeling or orga-
nised reaction, but which yet receives obscurely the
impressions of all things and stores them up in itself
and from it too all sort of stimuli, of persistent habitual
movements, crudely repeated or disguised in strange
forms can surge up into dream or into the waking nature.
Triple Universe : There is a vital plane above the mate-
GENERAL TEACHINGS 243
rial universe which we see; there is a mental plane above
the vital and material. These three together mental,
vital, physical are called the triple universe of the lower
Mind : The mind is a part of the nature which has
to do with cognition and intelligence, with ideas, with
mental or thought perceptions, the reactions of thought
to things, with the truly mental movements and forma-
tions, mental vision and will etc. that are part of his
Vital : The vital has to be carefully distinguished from
mind, even though it has a mind element transfused into
it; the vital is the Life nature made up of desires, sensa-
tions, feelings, passions, energies of action, will of desire,
reactions of the desire soul in man and of all that play of
possessive and other related instincts, anger, fear, greed,
lust etc. that belong to this field of the naturp.
Composition of man : The being of man is composed
of these elements the psychic being behind supporting
all the inner mental, vital and physical, and the outer,
quite external nature of mind, life and body which is
their instrument of expression. But above all is the
central being (Jivatma) which uses them all for its
manifestation : it is a portion of the Divine
Central Being : The phrase 'central being' in our Yoga
is usually applied to the portion of the Divine in us which
supports all the rest and survives through death and
birth. This central being has two forms above, it is
244 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Jivdtmd) our true being, of which we become aware
when the higher self-knowledge comes, below, it is the
psychic being which stands behind mind, body and life.
The Jivatma is above the manifestation in life and presides
over it; the psychic being stands behind the manifesta-
tion in life and supports it.
Radha is the personification of the absolute love for
the Divine, total and integral in all parts of the being
from the highest spiritual to the physical, bringing
the absolute self-giving and total consecration of all
the being and calling down into the body and the most
material nature the supr me Ananda.
Purity means to accept no other influence but only the
influence of the Divine.
Faithfulness means to admit and to manifest no other
movements but only the movements prompted and
guided by the Divine.
Sincerity means to lift all the movements of the being
to the level of the highest consciousness and realisation
Sincerity exacts the unification and harmonisation of
the whole being in all its parts and movements around
the central Divine Will.
Gods are the powers that stand above the world and
transmit the divine workings.
Devi is the Divine Shakti the consciousness and
Power of the Divine, the Mother and Energy of the worlds.
Brahma is the Power of the Divine that stands behind
formation and creation.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 245
Ganesh is the Power that removes obstacles by the
force of Knowledge.
Kartikeya represents victory over the hostile powers.
Shiva is the Lord of Tapas. The Power is the power
Krishna as a godhead is the Lord of Ananda, Love and
To deny in ignorance is no better than to affirm in
In teaching Yoga to another one becomes to some
extent a master with disciples. The Yogis have always
said that one who takes disciples, takes upon himself
the difficulties of his disciples as well as one's own that
is why it is recommended not to take disciples unless and
until one is siddha and even then only if one receives
the Divine authority to do it. Secondly, there is the
danger of egoism when one is free from that, then
the objection no longer holds.
If you want to be an instrument of the Truth, you
must always speak the truth and not falsehood. But
this does not mean that you must tell everything to
everybody. To conceal the truth by silence or refusal to
speak is permissible, because the truth may be mis-
understood or misused by those who are not prepared
246 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
for it or who are opposed to it it may even be made a
starting point for distortion or sheer falsehood. But to
speak falsehood is another matter. Even in jest it should
be avoided, because it tends to lower the consciousness.
One who fears monotony and wants something new
would not be able to do Yoga or at least this Yoga which
needs an inexhaustible perseverance and patience.
The world will trouble you so long as any part of you
belongs to the world. It is only if you belong entirely to
the Divine that you can become free.
If you are not constant in aspiration, the nature will
then sink back into the old lower ways.
This sadhana is not helped by fasting.
There is a future possibility of turning towards God
for everyone, even for the atheist or the one who never
thinks of God. The future possibility may only realise
after ten thousand years and even then it can only
come by practising Yoga.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 247
The special Grace of the Divine is for the seekers
of the Divine for the others it is a Cosmic Will acting
through their Karma.
That kind of Yogic Shakti is not the same as the
Divine Shakti. Even the Asura and the Rakshasa have
powers. The real Yoga Shakti is that which comes
from contact or union with the Divine consciousness
and its workings.
Spiritual aims and methods are not easy or natural
(e.g., as quarrellings, sex-indulgence, greed, indolence,
acquiescence in all imperfections are easy and natural)
and if people become disciples, they are supposed to
follow spiritual aims and endeavours, however hard and
above ordinary nature and not the things that are easy
Allow a quiet and steady will to progress to be settled
in you ; learn the habit of a silent, persistent and thorough
assimilation of what the Mother puts into you. This
is the sound way to advance.
It is dangerous to think of giving up "all barriers of
discrimination and defence against what is trying to
descend" upon you. Have you thought what this would
248 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
mean if what is descending is something not in conso-
nance with the divine Truth, perhaps even adverse ?
An Adverse Power would ask no better condition for
getting control over the seeker. It is only the Mother's
force and the Divine Truth that one should admit
without barriers. And even there one must keep the
power of discernment in order to detect anything false
that comes masquerading as the Mother's force and
the divine Truth, and keep too the power of rejection
that will throw away all mixture.
If the central will is sincere, each recognition of a
mistake can become a stepping stone to a truer move-
ment and a higher progress.
Remember the Mother and, though physically far
from her, try to feel her with you and act according to
what your inner being tells you would be her Will.
Then you will be best able to feel her presence and mine
and carry our atmosphere around you as a protection,
and a zone of quietude and light accompanying you
The spiritual union must begin from within and
spread out from there ; it cannot be based on anything
exterior for, if so based, the union cannot be spiritual
or real. That is the great mistake which so many make
here : they put the whole emphasis on the external
vital or physical relation with the Mother, insist on a
GENERAL TEACHINGS 249
interchange or else physical contact and when they
do not get it to their satisfaction, enter into all kinds of
disturbances, revolt, doubt, depression.
Even the physical must be able to feel invisibly the
Mother's closeness, her concrete presence then alone
can the union be truly based and completed and then
alone can any physical closeness or contact find its true
value and fulfil its spiritual purpose. Till then any phy-
sical contact is of value only so far as it helps the inner
sadhana, but how much can be given and what will
help or hinder, the Mother only can judge, the sadhak
cannot be the judge.
The sadhaks always imagine in their ignorance that
when the Mother sees more of one person than of another,
it is because of personal preference and that she is
giving more love and help to that person. That is
altogether a mistake.
The only safe thing is to concentrate on the inner
union foremost and altogether, to make that the one
thing to be achieved and to leave aside all claims and
demands for anything external, remaining satisfied with
what the Mother gives and relying wholly on her wisdom
250 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Those are the Mother's children closest to her who
are open to her, close to her in her inner being, one with
her will not those who come bodily nearest to her.
To know the outer Mother truly one must know what
is within her and not look at the outer appearances only.
That is only possible if one meets her with the inner
being and grows into her consciousness those who
seek an outer relation only cannot do that.
If you keep the wideness and calm and also the love
for the Mother in the heart, then all is safe for it means
the double foundation of the Yoga.
If they insist on seeing the Mother or on remaining
when she wants them to go or are in a bad mood and
throw it on her, it is very harmful for them to see her.
Each should be contented with what the Mother gives
them. The one thing important is to keep the inner
attitude and establish the inner connection with the
Mother independent of all outward circumstances.
Let the inner contact with the Mother increase
unless that is there, the outer contacts if too much
multiplied easily degenerate into a routine.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 25!
But the coming near to the Mother should be in the
inner rooms, not the outer. For in the inner rooms one
can always enter and even arrange to stay there
Mistakes come from people bringing their ego, their
personal feeling (likes and dislikes), their sense of pres-
tige or their convenience, pride, sense of possession,
etc. into the work. Harmony cannot be brought about
by external organisation only; inner harmony there
must be or else there will always be clash and disorder.
A contempt for others is out of place, especially since
the Divine is in all. Evidently, the activities and aspira-
tions of men are not trivial and worthless, for all life is
a growth of the soul out of the darkness towards the Light.
But our attitude is that humanity cannot grow out of
its limitations by the ordinary means adopted by the
human mind, politics, social reforms, philanthropy, etc.
these can only be temporary or local palliatives. The
only true escape is a change of consciousness, a change
into a greater, wider and purer way of being, and a life
and action based upon that change.
The eye of the Yogin sees not only the outward events
and persons and causes, but the enormous forces which
precipitate them into action. When one is habituated
252 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
to see the things behind, one is no longer prone to be
touched by the outward aspects or to expect any re-
medy from political, institutional or social changes ;
the only way out is through the descent of a conscious-
ness which is not the puppet of these forces but is greater
than they are and can force them either to change or
One must know that one is ignorant before one can
begin to know.
When one feels the Divine and feels others in the
Divine, then the real harmony comes. Meanwhile what
there can be is the goodwill and unity founded on the
feeling of a common divine goal and the sense of being
all children of the Mother.
Each person has his own freedom of choice up to a
certain point unless he makes the full surrender. The
Divine can lead, he does not drive. The help can only
be offered, not imposed.
The Divine Grace is there ready to act at every
moment, but it manifests as one grows out of the Law
of Ignorance into the Law of Light.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 253
One man who earnestly pursues the Yoga is of more
value than a thousand well-known men.
The Yogi is one who is already established in realisa-
tion the sadhak is one who is getting or still trying to
Remember that no personality and no power is to be
allowed to possess you. The Divine Force will not act
in this way ; it will work first to purify, to widen and
enlighten the consciousness, to open it to Light and
Truth, to awake the heart and the psychic being. Only
afterwards will it take gradual and quiet control through
a pure and conscious surrender.
Few are those from whom the Grace withdraws,
but many are those who withdraw from the Grace.
It is not what others think of you that matters, but
what you are yourself.
One rule for you I can lay down, "Do not do, say
or think anything which you would want to conceaL
from the Mother".
254 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Those who are able to open to the Divine receive
Him but also to those who can wait for the Divine,
the Divine comes.
Cruelty and falsehood are the two things that separate
most from the Divine.
He who would win high spiritual degrees, must pass
endless tests and examinations. But most are anxious
only to bribe the examiner.
Selfishness is the only sin, meanness the only vice,
hatred the only criminality. All else can easily be turned
into good, but these are obstinate resisters of deity.
The sign of dawning Knowledge is to feel that as yet
I know little or nothing ; and yet, if I could only know
my knowledge, I already possess everything.
Nothing in the world can be understood by itself,
but only by that which is beyond it. If we would know
all, we must turn our gaze to that which is beyond all.
Be cheerful and confident. Doubt and desire and Co.
are there, no doubt, but the Divine is there also inside
GENERAL TEACHINGS 255
you. Open your eyes and look and look till the veil is
rent and you see Him or Her.
When knowledge is fresh in us, then it is invincible ;
when it is old, it loses its virtue. This is because God
moves always forward.
When people think of leaving the Ashram, it is not
due to the pressure of Yoga, but to the pressure of
something in them that negates the Yoga. If one follows
one's psychic being and higher mental call, no amount
of pressure of Yoga can produce such results. People
talk as if the Yoga had some maleficent force in it which
produces these results. It is on the contrary the resis-
tance to Yoga that does it.
Beautiful is the face of the Divine Mother, but she
too can be hard and terrible. Nay, then, is immortality
a plaything to be given lightly to a child, or the divine
life a prize without effort or the crown for a weakling ?
Strive rightly and thou shalt have; trust and thy trust
shall in the end be justified; but the dread Law of the
Way is there and none can abrogate it.
Those who are poor, ill-born and ill-bred are not
256 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the common herd; the common herd are all who are
satisfied with pettinesss and average humanity.
Rasa (taste) of poetry, painting or physical work is
not the thing to go after. What gives the interest in
Yoga is the rasa of the Divine and of the divine con-
sciousness which means the rasa of Peace, of Silence,
of inner Light and Bliss, of growing inner Knowledge,
of increasing inner Power, of the Divine Love, of all
the infinite fields of experience that open to one with
the opening of the inner consciousness. The true rasa
of poetry, painting or any other activity is only found
when these things are part of the working of the Divine
Force in you, and you feel it is that and it exists in
the joy of that working.
Tobacco taken in any form spoils the spiritual atmos-
There is a sovereign royalty in taking no thought for
oneself. To have needs is to assert a weakness; to claim
something proves that we lack what we claim. To desire
is to be impotent; it is to recognise our limitations and
confess our incapacity to overcome them...
For all is within our reach, only the egoistic limits
of our being prevents us from enjoying the whole uni-
GENERAL TEACHINGS 257
verse as completely and concretely as we possess our
own body and its immediate surroundings.
The Mother :
As soon as you go deep enough, you meet something
that is one in all. All meet in the Divine. But if you
cannot feel one with somebody, it means you have not
gone deep enough in your feeling.
As long as you remain in your corner and follow the
course of the ordinary life, you are not touched or hurt;
but once you come in contact with the Divine, there are
only two ways open to you. You surrender and merge
in it, and your surrender enlarges and glorifies you; or
you revolt and all your possibilities are destroyed and your
powers ebb away and are drawn from you into That
which you oppose.
We find in others what is in us. If we always find mud
around us, it proves that there is mud somewhere in us.
Our best friend is he who loves us in the best of our-
selves and yet does not ask us to be otherwise than we are.
Before deciding that something is wrong in others or
in circumstances, you must be quite sure of the correct-
258 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
ness of your judgment, and which judgment is correct
so long as one lives in the ordinary consciousness that is
based on ignorance and filled with falsehood ? Only the
Truth-consciousness can judge. So it is better, in all
circumstances, to leave the judgment to the Divine.
Titles give no value to a man unless he has acquired
them in the service of the Divine.
Without the Divine life is a painful illusion, with
the Divine all is bliss.... It is in a sincere consecration to
the Divine that we can find relief from our too human
The peace must be immense, the quietness deep and
still, the calm unshakable, and the trust in the Divine
The body should reject illness as energetically as in
the mind we reject falsehood.
There are two methods of uniting oneself with the
Divine. The one is to concentrate in the heart and go
deep to find there His Presence; the other is to throw
oneself into His arms, to nestle there, as a child nestles
GENERAL TEACHINGS 259
in the arms of its mother, with a complete surrender;
and of these two the former seems to me to be easier.
From everybody is demanded only what he has, what
he is, nothing more, but nothing less also.
If you are physically away from me and if you think
of me all the time, you will be surely nearer to me than
if you were seated near me but thinking about other
The best thing is to consider oneself neither great nor
small, neither very important nor insignificant, because
we are nothing by ourselves. We must want to be only
what the Divine Will wants us to be.
The more one advances on the road the more modest
one becomes and the more one sees that one has done
nothing in comparison to what remains to be done. It is
when one feels like a blind man that one begins to be
ready for the illumination.
All fear must be overcome and replaced by a total
confidence in the Divine Grace.
260 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
One cannot help others to overcome their griefs and
sufferings unless one overcomes them in oneself and
becomes master of one's sentiments and reactions.
It is not one person or the other that attracts you. It
is the eternal feminine in the lower nature that attracts
the eternal masculine in the lower nature and creates an
illusion in the mind; it is the great play, obscure and half-
conscious, of the forces of the unillumined Nature; and
as soon as one succeeds in escaping from its blind and
violent whirlpool, one perceives very soon that all desires
and all attractions evaporate; there remains only the
ardent aspiration towards the Divine.
Intellectual culture is indispensable for creating a good,
wide, supple and rich mental instrument, but its action
For climbing above the mind it is more often a hin-
drance than a help, because, in general, a refined and
educated mind finds its satisfaction in itself and rarely
wants to remain silent for being surpassed.
I have always thought that something in the character
of the teacher was responsible for the indiscipline of his
students. It is not with severity but with self-control
that one can govern the children.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 26l
To will what God wills that is the supreme secret.
To the Divine you are worth no more than what you
have given Him.
Let us be always very careful to.-avoid all that might
encourage in us the spirit of display.
A noblest courage is to recognise one's faults.
To be above offence or insult makes one truly great.
To speak always the truth is the highest title of nobility.
It is through Beauty that the Divine manifests in the
physical, in the mental through Knowledge, in the vital
through Power, and in the psychic through Love.
An impulsive person who cannot control himself has
a disordered life. Do not act under an impulse.
The nobility of a being is measured by its capacity of
262 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Concentration upon oneself means decay and death
concentration on the Divine alone brings life and growth
Closeness to the Divine will always grow with the
growth of consciousness, equanimity and love.
Jealousy comes from a narrowness of the mind and
a weakness of the heart. It is a great pity that so many
are attacked by it.
A very very quiet head is indispensable for a clear
understanding and vision and a right action.
Do not mind the stupidity of others, mind yours.
All the lower movements have to be conquered if ever
anything divine is to be established upon earth.
Each one is given what he truly needs, in fact what
he is capable of receiving and utilising. If he asks for
more I rarely refuse to give but often it is more than
what he 'can receive and then it creates a disorder and
sometimes even a catastrophe.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 263
It is the Divine Presence that gives value to life. This
Presence is the source of all peace, all joy, all security.
Find this Presence in yourself and all your difficulties
When you give yourself to the accomplishment of
an unselfish aim, never expect the ordinary people to
praise and support you. On the contrary they will
always fight against you, hate and curse you. But the
Divine will be with you.
It is a dangerous illness : laziness.
I am always seated in your heart, consciously living
In order to progress, Nature destroys while the Divine
Consciousness stimulates growth and finally transforms.
To recognise the presence of a "disharmonious at-
mosphere" is useful only so far as it makes in each one
the will to change it into a harmonious atmosphere and
to do that the first important step is for each one to get
out of his own limited point of view in order to under-
stand the point of view of others. It is more important
264 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
for each one to find the mistake in himself rather than
insist on the mistake of others.
Do not forget even for a moment that all this has been
created by Him out of Himself. Not only He is present
in everything, but also He is everything. The differences
are only in expression and manifestation. If you forget
this you lose everything.
If you refuse to become a docile and surrendered
servant of the Divine and of the Master who manifests
Him, it means that you will remain a slave of your egoism,
your vanity, your presumptuous ambition, and a toy in
the hands of the Rakshasas who allure you with brilliant
images in their attempt not always unsuccessful to
One must be able to control oneself before one can hope
to govern others.
Always circumstances come to reveal the hidden
weaknesses that have to be overcome.
When temptation comes, resist it do not yield to it.
GENERAL TEACHINGS 265
By yogic discipline one can not only foresee destiny
but can alter it, change it almost wholly.
If you obey all your fancies, you will never get control
over yourself, it is your fancies that will control you.
Most people when they feel bored, instead of making an
endeavour to rise one step higher in their consciousness,
come down one step lower; they come down even below
the level where they were and they do most stupid things.
They make themselves vulgar in the hope of amusing
themselves. That is how men take to drink, spoil their
health, deaden their brain. If they had risen instead of
falling they would have profited by the occasion in making
In calamities, when it is very painful, they seek what
they call "diversion", they do stupid things, drag their
consciousness down, instead of raising it. If there is
anything extremely painful happening to you, never try to
deaden yourself, to forget, to descend into unconscious-
ness. Rather to go forward, get into the heart of your
grief : you will find there the light, the truth, the force
and the joy which the pain hides. But for that you must
be firm and refuse to slip down.
Honesty is indispensable for Yoga.
To try to cheat the Divine is worse than to try to cheat
a human being and much more foolish.
266 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The true power is always quiet. Restlessness, agitation,
impatience are the sure signs of weakness and
The closer you come to the Divine, the more you live
under a shower of overwhelming evidence of His
Do not think yourself big or small, very important
or very unimportant; for we are nothing in ourselves.
We must only will to become what the Divine wills of us.
The true consciousness is incapable of feeling superior.
It is only the small consciousness that seeks to show
superiority. Even a child is more developed than such
a being; for it is spontaneous in its movements. Rise
above all smallness. Do not be interested in any other
thing than your relation with the Divine, what you wish
to do for Him.
THE Gods, as has already been said, are in origin and
essence permanent Emanations of the Divine put forth
from the Supreme by the Transcendent Mother, the
The Adya Shakti is the Supreme Consciousness and
Power above the universe and it is by her that all the
Gods are manifested, and even the Supramental Ishwara
comes into manifestation through her.
The Gods cannot be transformed, for they are typal
and not evolutionary beings, they can come for conversion,
that is to say, to give up their own ideas and outlook on
things and conform themselves to the higher Will and
Supramental Truth of the Divine.
There is and can be no psychic being in a non-evolu-
tionary creature like the Asura; there can be none in a
god who does not need one for his existence. But what
the god has is a Purusha and a Prakriti or Energy of
nature of that Purusha. If any being of the typal worlds
wants to evolve, he has to come down to earth and take
a human body and accept to share in the evolution.
There is only one psychic being for each human being,
but the beings of the higher planes e.g., the Gods of the
Overmind can manifest in more than one human body
at a time by sending different emanations into different
The Overmind is the world of the gods and the gods
are not merely powers but have forms also. It is the
physical mind which believes only what is physical that
268 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Whatever name is called the Power that answers is
the Mother. Each name indicates a certain aspect of
the Divine and is limited by that aspect; the Mother's
Power is universal.
The Mother :
Sri Aurobindo... speaks of the gods of the Overmind
who are very much like human beings; they are infinitely
greater and more powerful, but with characteristics and
reactions very similar to those of men. Beyond them
one experiences the impersonal Divine. But beyond
this experience is the Divine who is the Person himself.
To reach this transcendent supreme Person (Puru-
shottama) one has to pass through the impersonal.
PEOPLE have begun to try to prove that great men were
not great, which is a very big mistake. If greatness is
not appreciated by men, the world will become mean,
small, dull, narrow and tamasic.
Outer greatness is not the aim of Yoga. But that is
no reason why one should not recognise the part played
by greatness in the order of the universe or the place
-of great men of action, great poets and artists, etc. It is
GREAT MEN 269
the power in them that is great and that power comes
from the Divine by their actions and greatness they
help the world and aid the cosmic purpose.
Vices are simply an overflow of energy in irregulated
channels. Great men have more energy and the energy
comes out in what men call vices as well as in what men
call virtues. Why should the Divine care for the vices
of great men ? Is he a policeman ? So long as one is
in the ordinary nature, one has capacities and defects,
virtues and vices. When one goes beyond, there are
no virtues and vices, for these things do not belong
to the Divine Nature.
There are some men who are self-evidently super-
human, great spirits who are only using the human
body. Europe calls them supermen, we call them
Vibhutis. They are manifestations of Nature, of divine
power presided over by a spirit commissioned for the
purpose, and that spirit is an emanation from the Al-
mighty, who accepts human strength and weakness
but is not bound by them. They are above morality
and ordinarily without a conscience, acting according
to their own nature. For they are not men developing
upwards from the animal to the divine and struggling
against their lower natures, but beings already fulfilled
and satisfied with themselves. Even the holiest of them.
270 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
have a contempt for the ordinary law and custom and
break them easily and without remorse.
The Rakshasa is the supreme and thoroughgoing indi-
vidualist, who believes life to be meant for his own
untrammelled self-fulfilment and self-assertion. A neces-
sary element in humanity, he is particularly useful in
revolutions. The Rakshasa is not an altruist. If by satis-
fying himself he can satisfy others, he is pleased; but he
does not make that his motive. If he has to trample on
others to satisfy himself, he does so without compunc-
tion. The Rakshasa has Kama, he has no Prema. But
the Vibhuti, though he takes self-gratification and enjoy-
ment on his way, never comes for self-gratification and
enjoyment. He comes, for work, to help man on his way,
the world in its evolution.
INFERIOR mankind gravitates downward from mind
towards life and body; average mankind dwells constantly
in mind limited by and looking towards life and body;
superior mankind levitates upward either to idealised
mentality or to pure idea, direct truth of knowledge and
spontaneous truth of existence; supreme mankind rises
to divine beatitude and from that level either goes up-
ward to pure Sat and Parabrahman or remains to beatify
HUMAN SERVICE 2JI
its lower members and raise to divinity in itself and
others this human existence.
ALL work done in an egoistic spirit, however good for
people in the world of the Ignorance, is of no avail to the
seeker of the Yoga.
The idea of usefulness to humanity is the old confu-
sion due to secondhand ideas imported from the West.
Obviously, to be 'useful' to humanity there is no need of
Yoga; everyone who leads the human life is useful to
humanity in one way or another.
Yoga is directed towards God, not towards man. If
a divine supramental consciousness and power can be
brought down and established in the material world,
that obviously would mean an immense change for the
earth including humanity and its life. But the effect on
humanity would only be one result of the change; it can-
not be the object of the sadhana. The object of the
sadhana can only be to live in the divine consciousness
and to manifest it in life.
To concentrate most on one's own spiritual growth
and experience is the first necessity of the sadhak to
be eager to help others draws away from the inner work.
272 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
To grow in the spirit is the greatest help one can give to
others, for then something flows out naturally to those
around that helps them.
Working for family, society, country is a larger ego-
it is not the Divine. One can work for them and say
that one is working for the Divine only if one is con-
scious of the Divine Adesh to act for that purpose or of
the Divine Force working within him. Otherwise it is
only an idea of the mind identifying country etc. with
The attainment of God is the true object of all human
effort for which all the other efforts political, social, lite-
rary, intellectual, are only a necessary condition and pre-
paration of the race; but there are both differences in
the state of the attainment, differences in its range and
Selfishness kills the soul; destroy it. But take care that
your altruism does not kill the souls of others. Very
usually, altruism is only the sublimest form of selfishness,
Do not be caught by the desire to "help" others do
and speak yourself the right thing from the inner poise
and leave the help to come to them from the Divine,
Nobody can really help only the Divine Grace.
HUMAN SERVICE 273
Altruism, philanthropy, the service of mankind are in
themselves mental or moral ideals, not laws of the spiri-
tual life..,. The greatest service to humanity, the surest
foundation for its true progress, happiness and perfection
is to prepare or find the way by which the individual and
the collective man can transcend the ego and live in its
true self, no longer bound to ignorance, incapacity,
disharmony and sorrow.
The Mother :
Yoga is not for the sake of humanity but for the sake of
Divinity. It is not the welfare of humanity that we seek
but the manifestation of the Divine. We are here to work
out the Divine Will so that we may be its instruments for
the progressive incorporation of the Supreme and the
establishment of His reign upon earth. Only that portion
of humanity which will respond to the Divine Call shall
receive its Grace.
One of the commonest forms of ambition is the idea of
service to humanity. All attachment to such service or
work is a sign of personal ambition. There should be no
attachment to any object or any mode of life. You must
be absolutely free.
It is an illusion to think that all these so-called move-
ments change things. It is merely taking a cup and beat-
274 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
ing the water in it. This illusion of action is one of the
greatest illusions of human nature. Men have a feeling
that if they are not all the time running about and bursting
into fits of feverish activity, they are doing nothing. What-
ever has been done in the world has been done by the very
few who can stand outside the action in silence; for it is
they who are the instruments of the Divine Power.
They are dynamic agents, conscious instruments; they
bring down the forces that change the world. Things
can be done in that way, not by a restless activity. In
peace, in silence and in quietness the world was built;
and each time that something is to be truly built, it is in
peace and silence and quietness that it must be done. I
am not speaking of the ordinary day-to-day acts that
are needed for the common external life, but of those
who have or believe that they have something to do for the
world. Enter into the consciousness of Eternity, then
only you will know what true action is.
Change yourself if you wish to change the world. Let
your inner transformation be the proof that a truth-
consciousness can take possession of the material world
and that the Divine's Unity can be manifested upon earth.
Organisations, however vast and complex they may be,
can achieve nothing permanent, unless a new force, more
HUMAN SERVICE 275
divine and all-powerful, expresses itself through a
perfected human instrument.
The conditions under which men live upon earth are
the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to
change the conditions without changing the consciousness
is a vain chimera; for no human organisation can change
radically unless human consciousness itself changes.
In this effort, however, to improve human conditions
there have always been two tendencies, which although
apparently contrary to each other should rather be com-
plementary and together work jout the progress. One
seeks a collective reorganisation, something that would
lead towards an effective unity of mankind : the other
declares that all progress is made first by the individual
and insists that it is the individual who should be given
conditions in which he can progress freely. Both are
equally true and necessary, and our effort should be
directed along both the lines.
All urge of rivalry, all struggle for precedence and
domination, should disappear giving place to a will for
harmonious organisation, for clear-sighted and effective
For all world organisation, to be real and to be able
to live, must be based upon mutual respect and under-
standing between nation and nation as well as between
individual and individual. It is only in the collective
276 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
order and organisation, in a collaboration based upon
mutual goodwill that lies the possibility of man being
lifted out of the painful chaos where he is now.
This must not be understood, however, to mean
that each nation would choose its place arbitrarily^
through its ambition and its greed. A country's mission
is not a thing to be settled mentally, with all the egoistic
and ignorant preferences of the external consciousness ;
that would serve only to shift the field of the conflict
between nations, but the conflict would continue,
perhaps more accentuated.
For those who practise the integral Yoga, the welfare
of humanity can be only a consequence and a result,
it cannot be the aim.... So we can say that on the one
hand a change in the human consciousness is absolutely
indispensable ; on the other hand, without an integral
transformation of the terrestrial atmosphere, the condi-
tions of human life cannot be effectively changed. The
appearance of a new force and light and power, accom-
panying the descent of the supramental consciousness
into this world can alone lift man out of the agony and
pain and misery under which he is submerged. The
integral Yoga is not an escape from the physical world
leaving it irrevocably to its fate. Nor is it an acceptance
of the material life as it is with no hope for any decisive
change, an acceptance of the world as the final expression
of the Divine Will. It is only the possession of the
HUMAN UNITY 277
consciousness of the divine nature in its essence that
enables one to have the conception of what the divine
nature will be in its manifestation. Yet they who have
realised in themselves this consciousness are generally
more anxious to become the superman than to give a
description of it.
No material organisation, whatever its degree of pre-
paration, is capable of bringing a solution to the miseries
Man must rise to a higher level of consciousness and
get rid of his ^jgnorance, limitation and selfishness in
order to get rid also of his sufferings.
It is not by social and political devices, or at any rate
not by these, chiefly or only, that the unity of the human
race can be enduringly or fruitfully accomplished....
Nature moves forward always in the midst of all
stumblings and secures her aims in the end more often
in spite of man's imperfect mentality than by its means....
Man must learn not to suppress and mutilate, but to
fulfil himself in the fulfilment of mankind, even as he
must learn not to mutilate or destroy, but to complete
his ego by expanding it out of its limitations and losing
it in something greater....
278 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
A national culture, a national religion, a national
education may be useful things provided they do not
interfere with the growth of human solidarity on the
one side and individual freedom of thought and con-
science and development on the other; for they give
form to the communal soul and help it to add its quota
to the sum of human advancement ; but a State educa-
tion, a State religion, a State culture are unnatural
Human society progresses really and vitally in propor-
tion as law becomes the child of freedom ; it will reach
its perfection when, man having learned to know and
become spiritually one with his fellow-then, the spon-
taneous law of his society exists only as the outward
mould of his self-governed inner liberty....
The first principle of human unity, groupings being
necessary, should be a system of free and natural group-
ings which would leave no room for internal discords,
incompatibilities and repression and revolt as between
race and race or people and people....
The union of liberty and equality can only be achieved
by the power of human brotherhood and it cannot be
founded on anything else. But brotherhood exists only
in the soul and by the soul ; it can exist by nothing else.
For thh brotherhood is not a matter either of physical
kinship or of vital association or of intellectual agree-
ment. When the soul claims freedom, it is the freedom
of its self-development of the divine in man in all his
being. When it claims equality, what it is claiming is
HUMAN UNITY 279
that freedom equally for all and the recognition of the
same soul, the same godhead in all human beings.
When it strives for brotherhood, it is founding that
equal freedom of self-development on a common aim,
a common life, a unity of mind and feeling founded
upon the recognition of this inner spiritual unity. These
three things are in fact the nature of the soul ; for free-
dom, equality, unity are the eternal attributes of the
Spirit. It is the practical recognition of this truth, it is
the awakening of the soul in man and the attempt to
get him to live from his soul and not from his ego which
is the inner meaning of religion*, and it is that to which
the religion of humanity also must arrive before it can
fulfil itself in the life of the race....
This is the cause why all human systems have failed
in the end ; for they have never been anything but a
partial and confused application of reason to life.... For
the limited imperfect human reason has no self-sufficient
light of its own ; it is obliged to proceed by observation,
by experiment, by action, through errors and stumblings
to a larger experience.
There has been almost continuous war in the world,
Man is a quarrelling and fighting animal and so long as
he is so how can there be peace ?
280 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Mother :
It is only by the growth and establishment of the
consciousness of human unity, that a true and lasting
peace can be achieved upon earth. All means leading
towards this goal are welcome, although the external
ones have a very limited effect ; however, the most
important, urgent and indispensable of all is a trans-
formation of the human consciousness itself, an
enlightenment of and conversion in its working....
If diplomacy could become the instrument of the
Truth and the Divine Grace, instead of being based on
duplicity and falsehood, a big step would be taken
towards human unity and harmony.
IGNORANCE means Avidya, the separative consciousness
and the egoistic mind and life that flow from it and all
that is natural to the separative consciousness and the
egoistic mind and life. This Ignorance is the result of a
movement by which the cosmic intelligence separated
itself from the light of the Supermind and lost the Truth.
It is this that some of the ancient thinkers like Shankara,
not perceiving the greater Truth-Force behind, stig-
matised as Maya and thought to be the highest creative
power of the Divine.
IGNORANCE (MAYA) 28 1
Falsehood, on the other hand, is not this Avidya, but
an extreme result of it. It is created by an Asuric power
which intervenes in this creation and is not only se-
parated from the Truth and therefore limited in know-
ledge and open to error, but in revolt against the Truth,
or in the habit of seizing the Truth only to pervert it.
I have started writing about doubt, but even in doing
so I am afflicted by the 'doubt' whether any amount of
writing or of anything else can ever persuade the eternal
doubt in man which is the penalty of his native ignorance.
For doubt exists for its own sake ; its very function is to
doubt always and, even when convinced, to go on
doubting still ; it is only to persuade its entertainer to
give it board and lodging that it pretends to be an honest
Nothing can arise from Nothing. Asat, Maya, nothing-
ness, is a creation of our mind. Out of its own incapacity
it has created the conception of a zero ; but it is an in-
calculable Infinite. Our sense by its incapacity has
invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light.
God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light.
There is no way to get free from ignorance and
ego except to open to the higher consciousness so that
it may descend and open to the Mother.
282 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The difficulty of the difficulties is self-created, a knot
of the Ignorance; when a certain inner perception loosens
the knot, the worst of the difficulty is over.
The Mother :
The more a mind is ignorant the more easily it judges
everything it does not know or is incapable of under-
ILLNESS marks some imperfection or weakness or else
opening to adverse touches in the physical nature and is
often connected also with some obscurity or disharmony
in the lower vital or the physical mind or elsewhere.
It is very good if one can get rid of illness entirely by
faith and Yoga-power or the influx of the Divine Force.
But very often this is not altogether possible, because the
whole nature is not open or able to respond to the Force.
Attacks of illness are attacks of the lower nature or of
adverse forces taking advantage of some weakness,
opening or response in the nature like all other things
that come and they have got to be thrown away, they
come from outside.
Certainly, one can act from within on an illness and cure
it. Only it is not always easy as there is much resistance
in Matter, a resistance of inertia. An untiring persistence
If you can succeed by the inner action in preventing
increase, even that is something; you have then by practice
to strengthen the power till it becomes able to cure. Note
that so long as the power is not entirely there, some aid
of physical means need not be altogether rejected.
All illnesses pass through the nervous or vital-physical
sheath of the subtle consciousness and subtle body before
they enter the physical. If one is conscious of the subtle
body or with the subtle consciousness, one can stop an
illness on its way and prevent it from entering the physical
It is only by the conquest of the material nature that
illness can cease altogether to come.
In illness physical means can be used wherever neces-
sary; but behind the physical means there must be the
Divine Force. The physical means are to be used with
discrimination and in case of necessity.
The human body has always been in the habit of
answering to whatever forces chose to lay hands on it
and illness is the price it pays for its inertia and ignorance.
It has to learn to answer to the one Force alone, but
that is not easy for it to learn.
284 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
All these ideas are wrong suggestions to which you
must refuse access. You have the Mother's Grace and
presence with you and it is only when you allow such
suggestions of restlessness and despair that this kind
of condition is created. Otherwise when you receive
the Force it works. However serious an attack may be
or however severe the illness, it can be got rid of by
receptivity to the true working. If that is not enough,
the Force aided by treatment can deal with them. The
worst possible diseases have been cured recently by the
Mother's force aided by treatment and this in people
who know nothing of sadhana. In a sadhak the action can
be still more effective. But the first thing is to get rid of
these dark and disabling suggestions and open yourself
-once more to the Mother's working.
The Mother :
All the time he is busy with that idea and he has made
a strong formation of illness around him. He is unable
to receive my help because of this formation. Let him
discard the idea of illness and more than half the trouble
will be over and it will be easy to cure him.
If you want to get cured from illness there are two
conditions. First you must be without fear, absolutely
fearless and secondly you must have a complete faith
in the Divine Protection. These two things are essential.
Modern medicine lays a great stress on microbic infec-
tion and the dictum is to kill the microbes and the disease
will be cured and it is so in many cases, but for us, illness
has other deeper causes. It is an expression of a disorder
of an inner subtler kind. If you cannot reach and touch
that you cannot be free from illness or prevent it from
Illness always, without exception, means a disturbance
of equilibrium.... Now with regard to the causes, they
are innumerable : there are inner or personal causes
and there are external causes....
To resist the attack of illness, you must become fighters
of the vital, spiritual fighters in your vital. All who do
Yoga sincerely must become so, and when they can
become they are quite safe. But one of the conditions
enabling you to become such a fighter is that you must
never have an evil will or an evil thought against anyone.
For if you have a bad feeling, a bad will or a bad thought
against people, you at once bring yourself down to their
level and then you receive their blows.
The first thing to do then is to quiet oneself, to bring
the peace and calm, the repose and a full confidence not
necessarily into the entire body, but into the affected part.
And then you can see the cause of the disorder. Even if
you cannot in the beginning spot the central cause, you
can try to get something near to it, approximating,
to it. And then you throw the light of consciousness,
the spiritual force, exerting a kind of pressure upon
the source of the disturbance and you try to re-establish
286 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
balance and normal functioning of the affected
Now, there are, much nearer, in the physical, in the
terrestrial atmosphere a large number of small beings
whom you do not see, because your sight is too limited,
but who move about in your atmosphere. There are some
who are very good and nice, others who are wicked. Most-
ly these entities are the offshoots of the disintegration
of vital beings, of persons who have died and are on
the way of gradual dissolution. Often they are seized by
Asuric forces and used by them as their instruments for
all kinds of mischief.... Very often they are behind acci-
dents that happen to people. They get immense pleasure
in the disorder and confusion following an accident.
It not only amuses them but gives them their food. They
draw sustenance from the human vitality thrown out of
the body by emotion and excitement and all that. And
further, these beings are not harmonious among them-
selves. They quarrel, they fight, they dash against each
other, want to hit and destroy one another. And this is
the origin of microbes. Microbes are forces of disinte-
gration, the living remnants, scattered bits of the vital
passions and desires and hungers of dead people, taken
possession of by the vital beings, asuric beings. Most of
the microbes have behind them a bad will and this is
what makes them so dangerous. Unless one knows
the quality and the kind of the bad will behind and
can act upon it, in 99 cases out of 100, one is unable
to find the true and the total remedy. The microbe is
only the most material expression of some entity which
is living, the embodiment in the most physical of a vital
Now when it is a case of attack from adverse forces,
the thing becomes still more and specially complex,...
There is a force outside you that wants to do you harm.
You must have opened the door by a spiritual error
of yours: a movement of vanity, anger, spite, violence;
it may be even a momentary lapse and that is sufficient
to give an opportunity to the beings that are always
there on the watch for it.... Then the first method I spoke
of is not sufficient. You have to add to it another aid,
you must add the force of spiritual purification. It is
such an absolutely and perfectly constructive force that
no destructive force can stand before it.... The adverse
force usually disappears forthwith, for if it falls within
the range of the force of light it gets dissolved. No force
of disintegration can face this force of purifying fire and
light. Either it is reduced to nothing or it has to change
into a force of construction. In either case you are not
only freed of your illness, but all possibility of its return
That does not necessarily mean that one is safe from all
possible attack. To say the truth, it is only when
one has permanently established his consciousness in
the supramental that the body is protected from all
adverse attacks and inner disharmony.
288 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
ADVICE TO A SICK DISCIPLE
You must not fear. Most of your troubles come from
fear. In fact, 90 per cent of illnesses are the result of
the subconscient fear in the body. In the ordinary con-
sciousness of the body there is a more or less hidden
anxiety about the consequences of the slightest physical
disturbance. It can be translated by these words of
doubt about the future : "And what will happen ?" it
is this anxiety that must be checked. Indeed this
anxiety is a lack of confidence in the Divine's Grace, the
unmistakable sign that the consecration is not complete
As a practical means of overcoming this subconscient
fear each time that something of it comes at the surface,
the more enlightened part of the being must impress on
the body the necessity of an entire trust in the Divine's
Grace, the certitude that this Grace is always working
for the best in ourself as well as in all, and the deter-
mination to submit entirely and unreservedly to the
The body must know and be convinced that its essence
is divine and that if no obstacle is put in the way of the
Divine's working nothing can harm us. This process
must be steadily repeated until all recurrence of fear is
stopped. And then even if the illness succeeds in making
its appearance, its strength and duration will be
considerably diminished until it is definitively
IMMORTALITY is one of the possible results of supra-
mentalisation, but it is not an obligatory result and it
does not mean that there will be an eternal or indefinite
prolongation of life as it is. To live in the Divine and
have the Divine Consciousness is itself immortality
and to be able to divinise the body also and make it a
fit instrument for divine works and divine life would be
its material expression only.
There can be no immortality of the body without
supramentalisation ; the potentiality is there in the
Yogic force and Yogis can live for 200 or 300 years or
more, but there can be no real principle of it without
IT is not by the intellect that one can progress in the
Yoga but by psychic and spiritual receptivity as for
knowledge and true understanding, it grows in sadhana
by the growth of the intuition, not of the physical intellect.
That is why one has to object to the intellect thrusting
itself in as the all-knowing judge ; if it kept to its own
limits, there would be no objection to it. But it makes
constructions of words and ideas which have no appli-
cation to the Truth, babbles foolish things in its igno-
rance and makes its constructions a wall which refuses
29O A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
to let in the Truth that surpasses its own capacities and
The psychic being will not need the support of intel-
lectual ideas or outer signs and helps. It is that alone
that can give you the direct feeling of the Divine, the
constant nearness, the inner support and aid. You will
not then feel the Mother remote or have any further
doubt about the realisation ; for the mind thinks and the
vital craves, but the soul feels and knows the Divine.
To see the Truth does not depend on a big intellect
or a small intellect. It depends on being in contact with
the Truth and the mind silent and quiet to receive it.
The biggest intellects can make errors of the worst kind
and confuse Truth and Falsehood, if they have not the
contact with the Truth or the direct experience.
The point is that people take no trouble to see whether
their intellect is giving them right thoughts, right con-
clusions, right views on things and persons, right indi-
cations about their conduct or course of action. They
have their idea and accept it as truth or follow it simply
because it is their idea. Even when they recognise that
th :y have made mistakes of the mind, they do not con-
sider it of any importance nor do they try to be more
careful mentally than before. The intellect, it is said,
is man's highest instrument and he must think and act
according to its ideas. But this is not true ; the intellect
needs an inner light to guide, check and control it quite
as much as the vital. There is something above the
intellect which one has to discover and the intellect
should be only an intermediary for the action of that
source of true Knowledge.
But for many intellectuals, so-called, their intellectuality
may be a stumbling block as they bind themselves with
mental conceptions or stifle their psychic fire under the
heavy weight of rational thought.
Yoga is not a field for intellectual argument or disser-
tation. It is not by the exercise of the logical or the
-debating mind that one can arrive at a true understanding
of Yoga or follow it. Unless and until the mind is stilled,
including the intellectual or logical mind, and opens
itself in quietude or silence to a higher and deeper con-
sciousness, vision and knowledge, sadhana cannot reach
its goal. For the same reason an unquestioning open-
ness to the Guru is demanded in the Indian spiritual
Out of one thousand mental questions and answers
there are only one or two here and there that are really
of any dynamic assistance while a single inner response
292 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
or a little growth of consciousness will do what those
thousand questions and answers could not do.
What I write usually helps only the mind and that too
very little, for people do not really understand what I
write they put their own constructions on it. People
io not understand what I write because the mind by
itself cannot understand things that are beyond it.
For one who wants to practise sadhana, sadhana must
come first reading and mental development can only
be subordinate things. Mental development may or
may not help sadhana if the mind is too intellectually
developed in certain rationalistic lines, it may hinder.
It is impossible for the limited human reason to judge
the way or purpose of the Divine, which is the way of
the Infinite dealing with the finite.
So long as we confine ourselves to sense-evidence and
the physical consciousness, we can conceive nothing
and know nothing except the material world and its
For training the intellect you should lock at things
without egoism or prejudice or haste, to try to know
fully and accurately before judging, to try to see the
truth behind other opinions than your own etc., etc.
The intellect can be as great an obstacle as the vital
when it chooses to prefer its own constructions to the
The knowledge of God is not to be gained by weighing
the feeble arguments of reason for or against his exis-
tence; it is to be gained only by a self-transcending
and absolute consecration, aspiration and experience*
Man's road to spiritual supermanhood will be open
when he declares boldly that all he has yet developed,
including the intellect of which he is so rightly and yet
so vainly proud, are now no longer sufficient for him, and
that to uncase, discover, set free this greater Light within
shall be henceforward his pervading preoccupation.
The Mother :
Whether the intellect is a help or a hindrance depends
upon the person and upon the way in which it is used.
There is a true movement of the intellect and there is a
wrong movement; one helps, the other hinders. The in-
tellect that believes too much in its importance and wants
294 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
satisfaction for its own sake, is an obstacle to the higher
realisation. A power has the right movement when it is
set into activity for the Divine purpose; it has the wrong
movement when it is set into activity for its own
ANY one passing the border of ordinary consciousness
can enter into this intermediate zone of vital world, if
he does not take care to enter into the psychic. In itself
there is no harm in passing through, provided one does
not stop there. But ego, sex, ambition, etc. if they get
exaggerated, can easily lead to a dangerous downfall
...or there is the opposite danger that he may become
the instrument of some apparently brilliant but ignorant
formation; for these intermediate planes are full of little
Gods or strong Daityas or smaller beings who want to
create, to materialise something or to enforce a mental
and vital formation in the earth life and are eager to use
or influence or even possess the thought and will of
the sadhak and make him their instrument for the pur-
pose. This is quite apart from the well-known danger
of actually hostile beings whose sole purpose is to create
confusion, falsehood, corruption of the sadhana and
disastrous unspiritual error.
The main strength of the hostile forces is in the vital
but there are some in the lower ranges of mind and
smaller beings and forces in the subtle physical also.
KARMA is only a machinery, it is not the fundamental
cause of terrestrial existence it cannot be, for when
the soul first entered this existence, it had no Karma.
If we believe that the soul is repeatedly reborn in the
body, we must believe also that there is some link between
the lives that preceded and the lives that follow and
that the past of the soul has an effect on its future; and
that is the spiritual essence of the law of Karma.
The idea of reward or retribution is a crude and vulgar
conception which is a mere popular error.
The Mother :
On the highest height is the Supreme and in the
lowest depth is matter; and there is an infinite gradation
of levels of consciousness between this lowest depth and
the highest height. In the plane of matter and on the
level of the ordinary consciousness you are bound hand
and foot. A slave to the mechanism of Nature, you are
296 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tied to the chain of Karma. There is an illusion of inde-
pendent movement, but in fact you repeat what all others
do. But it need not be so. You can shift your place if
you will. You can rise and look from above and by
changing your consciousness you can even change the
consequences. This precisely is the aim of Yoga, to
get out of the cycle of Karma into a divine movement.
I DO not know why you drag in humanitarianism, acti-
vism, philanthropical seva etc. None of these are part of
my Yoga or in harmony with my works, so they don't
touch me. I never thought that politics or feeding the
poor or writing beautiful poems would lead straight to
Vaikuntha or the Absolute. It is not the form of the
work itself or mere activity but the consciousness and
Godward will behind it that are the essence of
To do work in a close union and deep communion
with the Divine in us, the Universal around us and the
Transcendent above us, not to be shut up any longer
in the imprisoned and separative human mind, the
slave of its ignorant dictates and narrow suggestions, this
LIFE (ORDINARY AND SPIRITUAL) 297
To work in obedience to a divine command, an eternal
will, a universal impulse initiated by a transcendent
compulsion, not to run under the whips of ego and need
and passion and desire, and not to be guided by the
pricks of mental and vital and physical preferences, but
to be moved by God only, by the highest Truth only,
this is Karmayoga.
LIFE (Ordinary and Spiritual)
ONE who has not the courage to face patiently and firmly
life and its difficulties will never be able to go through the
still greater inner difficulties of the sadhana. The very
first lesson in this Yoga is to face life and its trials with
a quiet mind, a firm courage and an entire reliance on the
The life of samsdra is in its nature a field of unrest to
go through it in the right way one has to offer one's life
and actions to the Divine and pray for the peace of the
Divine within. When the mind becomes quiet, one
can feel the Divine Mother supporting the life and put
everything into her hands.
All the insistence upon action is absurd if one has
not the light by which to act. "Yoga must include life
and not exclude it" does not mean that we are bound to
298 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
accept life as it is with all its stumbling ignorance and
misery and the obscure confusion of human will and
reason and impulse and instinct which it expresses.
One must go deep and find the soul, the self, the
Divine Reality within us and only then can life become
a true expression of what we can be.
Divinisation itself does not mean the destruction of
the human elements; it means taking them up, showing
them the way to their own perfection, raising them by
purification and perfection to their full power and Ananda
and that means the raising of the whole of earthly life to
its full power and Ananda.
It is a lesson of life that always in this world everything
fails a man only the Divine does not fail him, if he turns
entirely to the Divine.
Everything depends upon the aim you put before you.
If, for the realisation of one's spiritual aim, it is necessary
to give up the ordinary life of the Ignorance, it must be
done; the claim of the ordinary life cannot stand against
that of the spirit.
In the Yoga practised here the aim is to rise to a higher
consciousness and to live out of the higher consciousness
LIFE (ORDINARY AND SPIRITUAL) 299
alone, not with the ordinary motives. This means a
change of life as well as a change of consciousness. But
all are not so circumstanced that they can cut loose from
the ordinary life; they accept it therefore as a field of
experience and self-training in the earlier stages of the
sadhana. But they must take care to look at it as a field
of experience only and to get free from the ordinary
desires, attachments and ideas which usually go with it;
otherwise, it becomes a drag and hindrance on their
sadhana. When one is not compelled by circumstances
there is no necessity to continue the ordinary life.
It is quite possible for you to do sadhana at* home and
in the midst of your work. What is necessary at the
beginning is to remember the Mother as much as possible,
to concentrate on her in the heart for a time every day, if
possible thinking of her as the Divine Mother, to aspire
to feel her there with you, offer her your works and pray
that from within she may guide and sustain you. This
is a preliminary stage which often takes long, but if one
goes through it with sincerity and steadfastness, the
mentality begins little by little to change and a new con-
sciousness opens in the sadhak which begins to be aware
more and more of the Mother's presence within, of her
working in the nature and in the life.
Peace is never easy to get in the life of the world and
300 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
never constant, unless one lives deep within and bears
the external activities as only a surface front of being.
Cases are seen in which the predictions of the horoscope
fulfil themselves with great accuracy up to a certain age,
then apply no more. This often happens when the
subject turns away from the ordinary life to the spiritual
life. If the turn is very radical, the cessation of predic-
tability may be immediate.
The question about the family duties can be answered
in this way the family duties exist so long as one is in
the ordinary consciousness of the grihastha> if the call to
a spiritual life comes, whether one keeps to them or not
depends partly upon the way of Yoga one follows, partly
on one's own spiritual necessity.
When one has to escape from the lower dharma, one
has often to renounce it so as to arrive at a larger one,
i.e., social duties, paying debts, looking after family,
help to serve your country, etc., etc. The man who
turns to the spiritual life, has to leave all that behind
him often and he is reproached by lots of people for
his adharma. But if he does not do this adharma, he
is bound for ever to the lower life for there is always
some duty there to be done and cannot take up the
spiritual dharma ever.
LIFE (ORDINARY AND SPIRITUAL) 301
In the worldly life, the one thing by which one can
enter into the sadhana is to remember the Divine always,
taking one's difficulties as ordeals to be passed through,,
to pray constantly and seek the Divine help and pro-
tection and ask for the opening of the heart and
consciousness to the supporting Divine Presence.
A divine life upon earth, the ideal we have placed
before us, can only come about by a spiritual change of
our being and a radical and fundamental change, an
evolution or revolution of our nature. The embodied
being upon earth would have to rise out of the domination
over it of its veils of mind, life and body into the full
consciousness and possession of its spiritual reality and
its nature also would have to be lifted out of the con-
sciousness and power of consciousness proper to mental,
vital and physical being into the greater consciousness
and greater power of being and the larger and freer
life of the spirit.
The Mother :
The aim of ordinary life is to carry out one's duty,
the aim of spiritual life is to realise the Divine.
It is the Spirit, the spiritual consciousness and the
divine Presence that give life all its value; without this
300 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
never constant, unless one lives deep within and bears
the external activities as only a surface front of being,
Cases are seen in which the predictions of the horoscope
fulfil themselves with great accuracy up to a certain age,
then apply no more. This often happens when the
subject turns away from the ordinary life to the spiritual
life. If the turn is very radical, the cessation of predic-
tability may be immediate.
The question about the family duties can be answered
in this way the family duties exist so long as one is in
the ordinary consciousness of the grihastha\ if the call to
a spiritual life comes, whether one keeps to them or not
depends partly upon the way of Yoga one follows, partly
on one's own spiritual necessity.
When one has to escape from the lower dharma, one
has often to renounce it so as to arrive at a larger one,
i.e., social duties, paying debts, looking after family,
help to serve your country, etc., etc. The man who
turns to the spiritual life, has to leave all that behind
him often and he is reproached by lots of people for
his adharma. But if he does not do this adharma, he
is bound for ever to the lower life for there is always
some duty there to be done and cannot take up the
spiritual dharma ever.
LIFE (ORDINARY AND SPIRITUAL) 301
In the worldly life, the one thing by which one can
enter into the sadhana is to remember the Divine always,
taking one's difficulties as ordeals to be passed through,
to pray constantly and seek the Divine help and pro-
tection and ask for the opening of the heart and
consciousness to the supporting Divine Presence.
A divine life upon earth, the ideal we have placed
before us, can only come about by a spiritual change of
our being and a radical and fundamental change, an
evolution or revolution of our nature. The embodied
being upon earth would have to rise out of the domination
over it of its veils of mind, life and body into the full
consciousness and possession of its spiritual reality and
its nature also would have to be lifted out of the con-
sciousness and power of consciousness proper to mental,,
vital and physical being into the greater consciousness
and greater power of being and the larger and freer
life of the spirit.
The Mother :
The aim of ordinary life is to carry out one's duty,
the aim of spiritual life is to realise the Divine.
It is the Spirit, the spiritual consciousness and the
divine Presence that give life all its value; without this
302 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
spiritual consciousness and this divine Presence life
has no value....
This means that from the point of view of the truth
of things, a man who has no material possessions, no
remarkable capacity or possibility but is conscious of
his psychic being and united with the Divine in him
is infinitely greater than a ruler of the earth or a millio-
naire possessing considerable material power but
unconscious of his psychic being.
From the point of view of truth, things apparent and
external have no true value. The only thing that has
a value is the divine Consciousness and the union with
The true spiritual life begins when one is in communion
with the Divine, in the psychic....
When one is united with one's psychic being and
conscious of the divine Presence, when one gets the
impulse for action from this divine presence, when one's
will has become a conscious collaborator with the divine
will, then that is the starting-point.
Before this, one can be an aspirant for the spiritual
life, but has not got the true spiritual life.
(HUMAN AND DIVINE)
As for love, the love must be turned singly towards
the Divine. What men call by that name is a vital inter-
LOVE (HUMAN AND DIVINE) 303
change for mutual satisfaction of desire, vital impulse
or physical pleasure.
The whole principle of this Yoga is to give oneself
entirely to the Divine alone and to nobody and nothing
else, and to bring down into ourselves by union with
the Divine Mother-Power all the transcendent light,
force, wideness, peace, purity, truth-consciousness and
Ananda of the supramental Divine. In this Yoga, there-
fore, there can be no place for vital relations or inter-
changes with others; any such relation or interchange
immediately ties down the soul to the lower consciousness
and its lower nature, prevents the true and full union
with the Divine and hampers both the ascent to the
.upramental Truth-consciousness and the descent of
the supramental Ishwari Shakti. Still worse would it
be if this interchange took the form of a sexual relation
or a sexual enjoyment, even if kept free from any outward
act; therefore these things are absolutely forbidden in
Human love is mostly vital and physical with a mental
support it can take an unselfish, noble and pure form
and expression only if it is touched by the psychic. One
who wishes to reach the Divine must not burden himself
with human loves and attachments, for they form so
many fetters and hamper his steps, turning him away
304 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
besides from the concentration of his emotions on the
one supreme object of love. One must also be on one's
guard against the profession of psychic love when one
is doing sadhana, for that is most often a cloak and
justification for yielding to a vital attraction or attachment.
To run about expressing love for one's personal
satisfaction or the satisfaction of others is only to spoil
and lose it. One can love divinely only by becoming
divine in nature; there is no other way.
The true love for the Divine is a self-giving, free of
demands, full of submission and surrender, it makes no
claim, imposes no condition, strikes no bargain, indulges
in no violences of jealousy or pride or anger for these
things are not in its composition. Keep your love pure
of all selfish claim and desire; you will find that you are
getting all the love that you can bear and absorb in
The Divine Love, unlike the human, is deep and vast
and silent; one must become quiet and wide to be aware
of it and reply to it. To give oneself is the secret of
sadhana, not to demand and acquire. The more one
gives oneself, the more the power to receive will grow.
But for that all impatience and revolt must go; all sug-
gestions of not getting, not being helped, not being
LOVE (HUMAN AND DIVINE) 305
loved, going away, of abandoning life or the spiritual
endeavour must be rejected.
But whether love or goodwill the human feeling is
always either based on or strongly mixed with ego, that
is why it cannot be pure. It is said in the Upanishad,
"One does not love the wife for the sake of the wife",
or the child or friend etc. as the case may be "but for
one's sake one loves the wife". There is usually a hope
of return, of benefit or advantage of some kind, or of
certain pleasures and gratifications, mental, vital or
physical that the person loved can give. Remove these
things and the love very soon sinks, diminishes or dis-
appears or turns into anger, reproach, indifference or
To bring the Divine Love and Beauty and Ananda
into the world is, indeed, the whole crown and essence
of our Yoga. But it has always seemed to me impossible
unless there comes as its support and foundation and
guard the Divine Truth what I call the Supramental
and its Divine Power. Otherwise Love itself blinded by
the confusions of this present consciousness may stumble
in its human receptacles and, even otherwise, may find
itself unrecognised, rejected or rapidly degenerating and
lost in the frailty of man's inferior nature.
306 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Universal love is the spiritual, founded on the sense
of the One and the Divine everywhere and the change
of the personal into a wide universal consciousness, free
from attachment and ignorance.
The supramental love means an intense unity of soul
with soul, mind with mind, life with life, and an entire
flooding of the body consciousness with the physical
experience of oneness, the presence of the Beloved in
every part, in every cell of the body.
The Mother :
The Divine Love of which I speak is a Love that
manifests here upon this physical earth, in matter, but
it must be pure of its human distortions, if it is to in-
carnate. But the adverse forces have distorted it; they
have turned it into a field of violence and selfishness
and desire and every kind of ugliness and prevented it
from taking part in the divine work.
Love is a supreme force which the Eternal Conscious-
ness sent down from itself into an obscure and darkened
world that it might bring back that world and its beings
to the Divine. The creation moves upward through love
towards the Divine. This human movement of love is
secretly seeking for something else than what it has yet
LOVE (HUMAN AND DIVINE) 307
found; but it does not know where to find it, it does not
even know what it is. Once the creation is conscious,
awakened, opened to love for the Divine, the Divine
love pours itself without limit back into the creation;
there is the joining of the extremes, supreme Spirit and
manifesting Matter, and their divine union becomes
constant and complete.
The Divine's Love is the power of Transformation.
It has this power because it is for the sake of Trans-
formation that it has given itself to the world and mani-
fested everywhere. Not only into man but into all the
atoms of Matter has it infused itself in order to bring
the world back to the original Truth. The moment you
open to it, you receive also its power of Transformation.
What is essential is the true contact; for you will find
that the true contact with it is sufficient to fill at once
the whole of your being.
To love truly the Divine we must rise above attach-
ments. To become conscious of the Divine Love, all
other love must be abandoned.
There is always a bitter taste behind the human love
it is only the Divine Love which never disappoints.
It is to the sincerity of your aspiration that the Love
308 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Only he who loves can recognise love. Those who are
incapable of giving themselves in a sincere love, will
never recognise love anywhere, and the more the love is
divine, that is to say unselfish, the less they can recognise
Devotion is love and respect plus consecration. Without
self-giving there is no love. But self-giving is very very
rare in human love which is full of selfishness. Even a
baby's love is quite selfish, because it asks for something
in exchange, but the so-called human love is much worse;
it only wants to possess its object. Devotion is much
superior to human love, it is the first step towards
If it is divine Love you are speaking of, you can have
it only by giving up human love which is its disguise and
Of all austerities, the most difficult is the austerity of
feeling and emotion, the Tapasya of love.
In the name of love the worst crimes have been per-
petrated, the wildest follies committed. And yet, man
has invented all kinds of moral and social rules hoping to
control this force of love, to make it sober and docile.
For it is not by rules that the movements of love can be
LOVE (HUMAN AND DIVINE) 309
governed. Only a greater, higher and truer power of love
can master the uncontrollable impulses of love. Love
can alone rule over love by illumining transforming
and enlarging it.
Consciousness is indeed the creator of the universe,
but love its saviour. The love, the thing to which human
beings give that name, has suffered all the degradations
and thus it has been lowered to the level of the beast.
In the human beings love is immediately mixed with
the egoistic lower movements that tarnish it and take
away all the power of its purity. The exceptional souls,
who seek the spiritual progress towards the creation of a
new race, the race that will express the supramental
truth upon earth, have to reject all love that is between
human beings; for, however beautiful and pure it is, it
creates a kind of short circuit and cuts the direct connec-
tion with the Divine.
One who has known Divine Love, finds all other love
obscure, mixed with smallness and egoism and darkness.
It looks like a bargain or a struggle for superiority and
authority : and even in the best, it is full of misunder-
standing and sensitiveness, frictions and misgivings.
Moreover, it is a well-known fact that you grow into the
likeness of him whom you love. If you want to be like
310 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the Divine, love Him alone. It is this wonderful state
that we wish to realise upon earth; it is this which will
transform the world and make it a habitation worthy of
the Divine Presence. He will be able to manifest him-
self in the plenitude of his perfection only when human
beings have made some indispensable progress in their
consciousness and in their body.
No eifort, therefore, is too arduous, no austerity too
rigorous, if it can illumine, purify, perfect and transform
the physical substance so that it may no longer conceal
the Divine, when the Divine takes in it an outward form.
For that marvel of love will then freely express itself in
the world, the love divine which has the power of changing
life into a paradise of sweet joy.
Your joys and your pleasures you will await from the
Divine alone. In Him alone you will seek and find help
and support. He will comfort you in all your pain, lead
you on the path, lift you up if you stumble, and if there
are moments of faintness and exhaustion, he will take
you in his strong arms of love and wrap you in his
MADNESS IN SADHANA
THOSE who fall into insanity have lost the true touch and
got into the wrong contact. It is due either to some
impurity and unspiritual desire with which the seeker
enters into the way or some insincerity, egoism and false
MATERIALISM SPIRITUALISM 311
attitude or to some weakness in the brain or nervous
system which cannot bear the Power it has calle' 4 down
If the being is small, the nature weak and incapable,
there is not this large-scale disaster; but a loss of balance,
a mental unhinging and fall into unreason or a vital
unhinging and consequent moral aberration or a devia-
tion into some kind of morbid abnormality of the nature
may be the untoward consequence.
The Mother :
When people begin Yoga out of ambition or vanity, it
very frequently happens that they put themselves under
the influence of certain hostile forces.
MATERIALISM can hardly be spiritual in its basis because
its basic method is just the opposite of the spiritual way of
doing things. The spiritual works from within outward,
the way of materialism is to work from out inwards.
Materialism seeks to "perfect" humanity by outward
means and one of the main efforts is to construct a
perfect social machine which will train and oblige men
to be what they ought to be. But spirituality can only
312 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
come by opening of the mind, vital and physical to
the inmost soul, to the higher Self, to the Divine, and
their subordination to the spiritual forces and instrumen-
tation as channels of the inner Light, the higher Know-
ledge and Power.
It is quite true that the word "superstition" has been
habitually used as a convenient club to beat down any
belief that does not agree with the ideas of the materialis-
tic reason, that is to say, the physical mind dealing with
the apparent law of physical process and seeing no further.
It has also been used to dismiss ideas and beliefs not in
agreement with one's own idea of what is the rational
norm of supraphysical truths as well. Even in the field
of supraphysical experience only so much was admitted
as could give a mentally rational explanation of itself
according to a certain range of idea all the rest, every-
thing that seemed to demand an occult, mystic or below-
the-surface origin to explain it was put aside as so much
Why I call the materialist's denial an a priori denial
is because he refuses even to consider or examine what
he denies but starts by denying it like Leonard Woolf
with his "quack, quack" on the ground that it contradicts
his own theories, so it can't be true.
MATERIALISM SPIRITUALISM 313
If one is blind, it is quite natural to deny daylight :
if one's highest natural vision is that of glimmering mists,
it is equally natural to believe that all high vision is but
-a mist or a glimmer. But Light exists for all that and
Spiritual Truth is more than a mist and a glimmer.
The so-called sciences which deal with the mind and
men are so much dependent on physical science that
they cannot go beyond their narrow limits. If science
is to turn her face towards the Divine, it must be a new
science not yet developed which deals directly with
the forces of the life-world and of Mind and so arrives
at what is beyond Mind; but present-day science cannot
The soul is not divided from God by these barriers
of material dimensions. What is true of matter is not
true of Spirit, nor do the standards of form apply to
the formless. For Matter is conscious being confined
in form, the spirit is conscious being using form but not
confined in it; and it is the privilege of spirit that though
indivisible in its pure being, it is freely self-divisible
in its conscious experience and can concentrate itself
in many states at a time.
Even the truth of physical things cannot be entirely
known, nor can the right use of our material existence
314 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
be discovered by physical Science and an outward
knowledge alone or made possible by the mastery of
physical and mechanical processes alone : to know, to
use rightly we must go beyond the truth of physical
phenomenon and process, we must know what is within
and behind it.
IT is very true that physical things have a consciousness
within them which feels and responds to care and is
sensitive to careless touch and rough handling. To know
or feel that and learn to be careful of them is a great
progress of consciousness. It is always so that the Mother
has felt and dealt with physical things.
The rough handling and careless breaking or waste
and misuse of physical things is a denial of the Yogic
Consciousness and a great hindrance to the bringing down
of the Divine Truth to the material plane.
There is a consciousness in physical things, a life which
i? not the life and consciousness of man and animal
which we know, but still secret and real. That is why
we must have a respect for physical things and use
them rightly, not misuse and waste, ill-treat or handle
with a careless roughness. This feeling of all being
conscious or alive comes when our own physical con-
sciousness and not ihe mind only awakes out of its
obscurity and becomes aware of the One in all things,
the Divine everywhere.
Yes, I am in things also and that is why they must
be treated with care.
Not to take care of material things which one uses is
a sign of inconscience and ignorance.
You have no right to use any material object what-
soever if you do not take care of it.
You must take care of it not because you are attached
to it, but because it manifests something of the Divine
MONEY is the visible sign of a universal force, and this
force in its manifestation on earth works on the vital
and physical planes and is indispensable to the fullness
of the outer life. In its origin and its true action it be-
longs to the Divine. But like other powers of the Divine
it is delegated here and in the ignorance of the lower
Nature can be usurped for the uses of the ego or held
3l6 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
by.Asuric influences and perverted to their purpose. To
reconquer it for the Divine to whom it belongs and
use it divinely for the divine life is the supramental
way for the Sadhaka. All wealth belongs to the Divine
and those who hold it are trustees, not possessors.
A day shall come when all the wealth of this world,
freed at last from the enslavement to the anti-divine
forces, offers itself spontaneously and fully to the service
of the Divine's Work upon earth.
Money is not a thing that can be acquired honestly
and quickly at the same time.
Those who try to earn quick, generally lose their
honesty and straightforwardness this is a great evil,
for honour and honesty are much more valuable than
THE spiritual life (adhyatma jivan), the religious life
(dharmic jivan) and the ordinary human life of which
morality is a part are three quite different things and
one must know which one desires and not confuse the
MORALITY, ETHICS 317
The ordinary life is that of the average human con-
sciousness separated from its own true self and from the
Divine and led by the common habits of the mind, life
and body which are the laws of the Ignorance. The
religious life is a movement of the same ignorant human
consciousness, turning or trying to turn away from the
earth towards the Divine but as yet without knowledge
and led by the dogmatic 'tenets and rules of some sect
or creed which claims to have found the way out of the
bonds of the earth-consciousness into some beatific
Beyond. The religious life may be the first approach to
the spiritual, but very often it is only a turning about in
a round of rites, ceremonies and practices of set ideas
and forms without any issue. The spiritual life, on the
contrary, proceeds directly by a change of consciousness,
a change from the ordinary consciousness, ignorant
and separated from its true self and from God, to a greater
consciousness in which one finds one's true being and
comes first into direct and living contact and then into
union with the Divine. For the spiritual seeker this change
of consciousness is the one thing he seeks and nothing
Morality is a part of the ordinary life; it is an attempt
to govern the outward conduct by certain mental rules
or to form the character by these rules in the image of a
certain mental ideal. The spiritual life goes beyond the
mind; it enters into the deeper consciousness of the
Spirit and acts out of the truth of the Spirit.
318 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Yoga is not a thing of ideas but of inner spiritual
experience. Merely to be attracted to any set of religious
or spiritual ideas does not bring with it any realisation.
Yoga means a change of consciousness; a mere mental
activity will not bring a change of consciousness, it can
only bring a change of mind.
The popular account of reincarnation and Karma is
based on the mere mental assumption that the workings
of Nature ought to be moral and proceed according to
an exact morality of equal justice a scrupulous, even
mathematical law of reward and punishment or, at
any rate, of results according to a human idea of right
correspondence. But Nature is non-moral she uses
forces and processes moral, immoral and amoral pell-
mell for working out her business. Nature in her out-
ward aspect seems to care for nothing except to get
things done or else to make conditions for an ingenious
variety of the play of life. Nature in her deeper aspect
as a conscious spiritual Power is concerned with the
growth, by experience, the spiritual development of
the souls she has in her charge.
It is the same with the problem of the taking of animal
life. In fact the right decision might vary in each case
and depend on a knowledge which the human mind
has not anH it ir^ht very well be said that until it has
MORALITY, ETHICS 319
it, it has not the right to take life. It was some dim
perception of this truth that made religion and ethics
develop the law of Ahimsa and yet that too becomes a
mental rule which it is found impossible to apply in
practice. And perhaps the moral of it all is that we must
act from the best according to our lights in each case,
as things are, but that the solution of these problems
can only come by pressing forward towards a greater
light, a greater consciousness in which the problems
themselves, as now stated by the human mind, will not
arise because we shall have a vision which will see the
world in a different way and a guidance which at present
is not ours. The mental or moral rule is a stop-gap which
men are obliged to use, very uncertainly and stumblingly,
until they can see things whole in the light of the spirit.
The principle of life which I seek to establish is spiri-
tual. Morality is a question of man's mind and vital, it
belongs to a lower plane of consciousness. A spiritual
life therefore cannot be founded on a moral basis, it must
be founded on a spiritual basis. This does not mean that
the spiritual man must be immoral as if there were no
other law of conduct than the moral. The law of action
of the spiritual consciousness is higher, not lower than
the moral it is founded on union with the Divine and
living in the Divine Consciousness and its action is
founded on obedience to the Divine Will.
320 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
A moral man may be chock-full of ego, an ego in-
creased by his own goodness and rectitude. Freedom from
ego is spiritually valuable because then one can be centred,,
no longer in one's personal self, but in the Divine.
All that belongs to the intellectual-ethical virtue-and-
sin dodge which is only a mental construction of practical
value for the outward life but not a truth of real inner
The greatest difficulty of the sattwic man is the snare
of virtue and self-righteousness, the ties of philanthropy,,
mental idealisation, family affections, etc.
Suffering is simply a natural consequence of past errors,,
not a punishment, just as a burn is the natural conse-
quence of playing with fire. It is part of the experience
by which the soul through its instruments learns and
grows until it is ready to turn to the Divine.
The Mother :
No one has a right to sit in judgment over moral and
social laws, unless he has taken his seat above them;
one cannot abandon them, unless one replaces them by
something superior, which is not so easy. The majority
MORALITY, ETHICS 321
of those who reject human laws and proclaim their
liberty and their decision to "live their own life" do so
only in obedience to the most ordinary vital movements
which they disguise and try to justify, if not to their
own eyes, at least, to the eyes of others. They give a
kick to morality, simply because it is a hindrance to the
satisfaction of their instincts. The moral consciousness
acts in the same way in the social body as tapasya in the
There is a great difference between spirituality and
morality, two things that are constantly confused with
each other. The spiritual life has for its object to grow
into the divine consciousness. Morality proceeds by
mental constructions with the idea of good or bad and
sets up an ideal type into which all must force them-
selves. This moral ideal differs in its constituents and its
ensemble in different times and different places. And
it proclaims itself as a unique type and it admits of none
other outside itself.
Morality lifts up one artificial standard contrary to
the variety of life and the freedom of the spirit. Morality
is not divine or of the Divine; it is of man and human.
But the spiritual life demands that you should reject
desire altogether. Its law is that you must cast aside all
movements that draw you away from the Divine. All
desires, whether good or bad, come within this descrip-
322 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tion; for desire itself arises from an unillumined vital
being and its ignorance.
You can break moral rules only when you observe the
THE Mother deals with each one in a different way,
according to their need and their nature, not according
to any fixed mental rule. It would be absurd for her to
do the same thing with everybody as if all were machines
which had to be touched and handled in the same way.
It does not at all mean that she has more affection for
one than for another, or those she touches in a particular
way are better sadhaks or less so. The sadhaks think in
that way because they are full of ignorance and ego.
Instead of thinking whether the Mother favours one
more or the other less, comparing and watching what
she does, they ought to be concerned at Pranam with
only their own spiritual reception of her influence.
Pranam is for that and not for these other things which
have nothing to do with sadhana.
Jealousy and envy are things common to human
nature, but these are the very things that a sadhak ought
to throw out of himself. Otherwise why is he a sadhak
MOTHER'S WORKING 323
at all ? He is supposed to be here for seeking the Divine
but in the seeking for the Divine jealousy, envy,
anger, etc. have no place. They are movements of the
ego and can only create obstacles to the union with the
It is much better to remember that one is seeking
for the Divine and make that the whole governing idea
and aim of the life. It is that which pleases the Mother
more than anything else ; these jealousies and envies
and competitions for her favour can only displease
and distress her.
Mother's seriousness [at Pranam] is due to some
absorption in some work she is doing or very often to
some strong attack of hostile forces in the atmosphere.
It is a mistake to think that the Mother's not smiling
means either displeasure or disapproval of something
wrong in the sadhak.
If any one is in serious trouble in the Ashram, that
falls on us and most on the Mother so it is absurd to
suppose that we can take pleasure in anyone suffering.
The danger of helping others is the danger of taking
upon oneself their difficulties. If Mother can keep
324 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
herself separated and help, this does not occur. But
the tendency in helping is to take the person partially
or completely in one's larger self. This is what the
Mother has had to do with the sadhaks and the reason
why she has sometimes to suffer.
All bad thoughts upon the Mother or throwing of
impurities on her may affect her body as she has taken
the sadhaks into her consciousness ; nor can she send
these things back to them as it might hurt them.
If the Mother were able to bring out the Divine
personalities and Powers into her body and physical
being as she was doing for several months without
break some years ago, the brightest period in the history
of the Ashram, things would be much more easy and
all these dangerous attacks that now take place would
be dealt with rapidly and would in fact be impossible.
In those days when the Mother was either receiving
the sadhaks for meditation or otherwise working and
concentrating all night and day without sleep and
with very irregular food, there was no ill-health and no
fatigue in her and things were proceeding with a light-
ning swiftness. The power used was not that of the
Supermind, but of the Overmind, but it was sufficient
for what was being dtfne. Afterwards because the lower
vital and the physical of the sadhaks could not follow.
MOTHER'S WORKING 325
the Mother had to push the Divine personalities and
Powers through which she was doing the action behind
a veil and came down into the physical human level
and act according to its conditions and that means
difficulties, struggles, illness, ignorance and inertia.
But for the advance to be anything like general or swift
in its process, the attitude of the sadhaks, not of a few
only, must change. They must cling less to the condi-
tions and feelings of the external physical consciousness
and open themselves to the true consciousness of the
Yogin and sadhak. If they did that, the inner eye would
open and they would not be bewildered or alarmed if
the Mother again manifested externally something of
the Divine Personalities and Powers as she did before.
They would not be asking her to be always on their
level, but would be glad to be drawn swiftly or gradually
up towards her. The difficulties would be ten times
less and a larger, easier, securer movement possible.
Things are no longer what they were before when
you were here. At that time the Mother was bringing
down a rapid (collective as well as individual) transforma-
tion and creation into the mental, vital and physical
planes from above, by the power of a supra-mental
light and force acting through the higher illumined
mind and the psychic being. For that purpose she was
calling down beings of higher plane (like the one of
which you speak) as an indispensable aid in that process.
326 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
All went well enough so long as the work was on the
mental, psychic and higher vital levels. But as soon as
it began in the lower vital, it appeared at once that the
lower vital and physical nature of human beings (at least
of those here) were too small, obscure and full of re-
bellious impurity to admit of so great a working. One
after another failed in the test and you were among the
first to fall. The creation had to be postponed, the
process changed and instead of doing all from above
it became necessary to come down into the lower vital
and inanimate nature for a long, slow, patient and
difficult work of opening and change.
It is not by his own strength or good qualities that
any one can attain the divine change ; there are only two
things that matter, the Mother's force at work and the
sadhak's will to open to it and trust in her working.
Be sure that the Mother will always be with you to
carry you upon the path. Difficulties come and difficulties
go, but, she being with you, the victory is sure.
Always calls of this kind are coming to the Mother,
sometimes a hundred close upon each other and always
the answer is given. The occasions are of all kinds, but
whatever the need that occasions the call, the Force is
there to answer it. That is the principle of this action
on the occult plane. It is not of the same kind as an
ordinary human action and does not need a written or
MOTHER'S WORKING 327
oral communication on the one who calls; an interchange
of psychic communication is quite sufficient to set the
Force at work. At the same time it is not an impersonal
Force and the suggestion of a divine energy that is there
ready to answer and satisfy anybody who calls it is not
at all relevant here. It is something personal to the
Mother and if she had not this power and this kind of
action she would not be able to do her work.
The Mother has made an arrangement with a view to
all the occult forces and the best possible conditions
for the protection of the sadhaks from certain forces
of death, diseases, etc. It cannot work perfectly because
the sadhaks themselves have not the right attitude to-
wards food and kindred vital physical things. But still
there is a protection. If, however, the sadhaks go outside
her formation, it must be on their own responsibility.
But this arrangement is for the Ashram and not for
those who are outside.
When the pressure of the Mother's Force works upon
the consciousness, then in the plane on which it happens
to be working, a great activity of different forces is set
in play, e.g. if it is the mind, various mental forces,
if it is the vital, various vital forces. It is not safe to take
all these for true things, to be accepted without question
and followed as commands of the Mother. No voice
328 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
heard within can prevail against her word and no inti-
mation that comes through your mind can be accepted
as binding unless it is confirmed by her.
It is the emanation of the Mother that is with each
sadhak all the time. In former days when she was
spending the night in a trance and not working in the
Ashram, she brought back with her the knowledge of
all that was happening to everybody. Nowadays she
has no time for that.
The Emanation is not a deputy, but the Mother herself.
She is not bound to her body, but can put herself out
(emanate) in any way she likes. What emanates, suits
itself to the nature of the personal relation she has with
the sadhak which is different with each, but that does
not prevent it from being herself.
Mother's contact is there all the day and the night
also. If one keeps the right contact with her inwardly
all day, the Pranam will bear its right fruit, for you will
be in the right condition to receive. I mean the inner
contact in which one either feels one with her or
in contact with her or aware of her presence or at the
very least turned towards her always.
Occult forces are the forces that can only be known
t>y going behind the veil of apparent phenomena
especially the forces of the subtle physical and supra-
Such a seeking for occult powers is looked on with
disfavour for the most part by spiritual teachers in
India, because it belongs to the inferior planes and
usually pushes the seeker on a path which may lead
him very far from the Divine. Especially a contact with
the forces and beings of the astral (or, as we term it,
the vital) plane is attended with great dangers. The
beings of this plane are often hostile to the true aim of
spiritual life and establish contact with the seeker and
offer him powers and occult experiences only in order
that they may lead him away from the spiritual path
or else that they may establish their own control over
him or take possession of him for their own purpose.
Often, representing themselves as divine powers, they
mislead, give erring suggestions and impulsions and
pervert the inner life. This is one of the chief dangers
of the spiritual life and to be on one's guard against it
is a necessity for the seeker if he wishes to arrive at his
goal. It is true that many supraphysical or supernormal
powers come with the expansion of the consciousness
in Yoga but these powers are not sought after, they
come naturally, and they have not the astral character.
Also, they have to be used on purely spiritual lines,
330 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
that is by the Divine Will and the Divine Force, as an
instrument, but never as an instrumentation of the forces
and beings of the vital plane.
Our object is not to get powers, but to ascend towards
the divine Truth-Consciousness and bring its Truth down
into the lower members. With the Truth all the neces-
sary powers will come, not as one's own, but as the
Divine's. The contact with the Truth cannot grow
through rajasic mental and vital self-assertion, but only
through psychic purity and surrender.
The Mother :
To talk about occult things is of little value ; one must
experience them. It is a system of knowledge organised
around some principles ; it follows a precise process
and if you reproduce exactly the same conditions, you
get always the same results. It is also a progressive know-
ledge. Only this study deals with realities which do
not belong to the most material world.
As we possess a physical body, so we possess also other
more subtle bodies with their own senses, but more
refined, more precise, much more powerful than our
physical senses. Naturally, as our education is not
accustomed to deal with this domain, these senses are
usually not developed and the worlds where they fimc-
OCCULTISM 33 r
tion escape our ordinary consciousness ; yet children
spontaneously live a great deal in this domain. It is
only with an intensive mental development that these
capacities fade away in children and often end by
In all ages, there were upon earth isolated individuals
or small groups ; they used to practise this type of science.
They sought for especially gifted souls and gave them
the necessary training. Usually these groups lived a
more or less secret or hidden life because ordinary
people are very intolerant of this kind of capacities and
activities which pass their understanding and frighten
In all the domains of human activity, there are charla-
tans and imposters. But the fraud practised by them
should not throw discredit upon a true science which
they falsely boast they possess. That is why in the
great epochs when this science flourished, when there
were recognised schools where it was practised, whoever
wanted to undertake this study, before being admitted,
was made to go through, for a long time, sometimes
even for years, a twofold discipline of a very strict nature,
that of self-development and self-mastery. In this way
the height and nobility of the candidate's aspiration
Occult science, in one of its aspects, is something of
chemistry applied to the play of forces, ths building of
worlds and individual forms in inner dimensions. As in
the chemistry of Matter, the handling of certain subs-
332 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
tances is not without danger, even so in the occult worlds
the handling of certain forces and contact with them
involve risks which can prove harmless only if one keeps
a cool head and unshakable calm.
In any case, at all times it has been recommended that
one should take up these studies only under a sure guide
who can point out the path to follow, put you on guard
against dangers, whether illusory or not and give
protection when needed.
Occult knowledge without the spiritual discipline
is, if it falls into impure hands, a dangerous instrument
for one who uses it as well as for others. Spiritual know-
ledge without the occult science lacks in precision and
certainty in its objective effects : it is all-powerful only
in the subjective world. The two, when combined whether
for external or for internal action, are irresistible and
become an instrument fit for the manifestation of the
OCCULT HISTORY OF MAN
The Mother :
AT the beginning of creation, four individual formations
the first personalities made their appearance. They
were : (i) a . Being of Light or Consciousness, (2) a
Being of Truth or Reality, (3) a Being of Love or Ananda
and (4) a Being of Life. And the first law of creation was
OCCULT HISTORY OF MAN 333
freedom of decision. These Beings were manifestations
in the free movement of the Divine; they themselves
moved free, according to their individualised conscious
will. Soon, however, they stood out no longer on the
Divine, but moved out of him, away and separate; they
sought to fulfil their individualised will and destiny.
The first fruit, the inevitable reaction of freedom was
precisely a separation from the Divine, each one encircled
within its ego, limited and bound to its own fund of
potency : individualism means limitation and the Four
Independents lapsed into their opposites : Light changed
to Darkness, i.e. Consciousness to Unconsciousness >
Truth changed to Falsehood, Delight changed to Pain
and Suffering, and Life changed to Death. That is how
the four undivine principles, the Powers of the
Undivine came to rule and fashion the material
Into the heart of this Darkness and Falsehood and
Pain and Death, a seed was sown, a grain that is to be
the epitome and symbol of material creation and in
and through which the Divine will claim back all the
elements gone astray, the prodigal ones who will return
to recognise and fulfil the Divine. That was Earth. And
the earth, in her turn, in her labour towards the Divine
Fulfilment, out of her bosom, threw up a being who would
again symbolise and epitomise the earth and material
creation. That is Man. For, man came with the soul
in him, the Psychic Being, the Divine Flame, the spark
of consciousness in the midst of universal unconscious-
334 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
ness, a miniature of the original Divine Light-Truth-
THE Divine is not bound by human philosophies it
is free in its play and free in its essence.
Logic is the worst enemy of Truth, as self-righteousness
is the worst enemy of virtue; for the one cannot see its
-own errors nor the other its own imperfections.
Philosophy is only a play of phrases and mental ideas
a mental gymnastic without any reference to expe-
rience. Spiritual knowledge is as much impossible without
experience as scientific knowledge.
Philosophy is of little help in getting true knowledge,
which must come from experience and actual realisation.
It serves as a mental exercise it makes the mind supple
and clear; it gives ideas to the mind that there is some
thing higher than itself to which it should aspire; thus
it serves as a sort of springing board.
The Mother :
The mistake is to look at things through the dimen-
sions of the human consciousness. It is dangerous to
trv to ext>1am or understand them with the limited
THE PROBLEM OF WOMAN 335
mental intelligence. That is the reason why philosophy
has always failed to unveil the secret of things; it is
because it has tried to fit the universe into the size of
the human mind.
THE PROBLEM OF WOMAN
The Mother :
No law can liberate women unless they liberate them-
selves. What makes them slaves is :
(1) Attraction towards the male and his strength,
(2) Desire for home life and its security,
(3) Attachment to motherhood.
If they get free from these three slaveries, they will
truly be the equal of men.
Men also have three slaveries :
(1) Spirit of possession, attachment to power and
(2) Desire for sexual relation with woman,
(3) Attachments to the small comforts of married life.
If they get rid of these three slaveries, they can truly
become the equal of women.
Man feels himself superior and wants to dominate,
the woman feels oppressed and revolts, openly or secretly;
and the eternal quarrel between the sexes continues
from age to age, identical in essence, innumerable in
its forms and shades.
336 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
It is well understood that mart throws the who e
blame upon the woman, as woman in the same way
throws the entire blame upon man. In truth the blame
should be equally distributed between the two and
neither should boast as being superior to the other.
Moreover, as long as this notion of superiority and in-
feriority is not eliminated, nothing or nobody can put
an end to the misunderstanding that divides the human
race into two opposite camps and the problem will not
be solved. In their mutual relations, man and woman
are, at once and towards each other, quite despotic masters
and somewhat pitiable slaves.
Yes, slaves; for so long as you have desires and pre-
ferences and attachments, you are a slave of these things
and of those persons on whom you depend for their
That is why no law can liberate women unless they
free themselves : men too, likewise, cannot, in spite of
all their habits of domination, cease to be slaves unless
they are freed from all their inner slavery.
This state of secret conflict, often not admitted, but
always present in the subconscious, even in the best
cases, seems inevitable, unless human beings rise above
their ordinary consciousness to identify themselves
with the perfect consciousness, to be unified with the
supreme Reality. For when you attain this higher con-
sciousness you perceive that the difference between
man and woman reduces itself to a difference purely
We dream of a world in which all these oppositions
will at last disappear, where a being will be able to live
and prosper who will be the harmonious synthesis of
all that is best in human production, identifying concep-
tion and execution, vision and creation in one single
consciousness and action.
In any case until the appearance of a new conception
and a new consciousness compelling Nature to create a
new race which will have no need any more to submit to
the necessity of animal procreation and will not be under
the compulsion of being cut into two complementary
sexes, the best that can be done for the progress of the
present human race is to treat the two sexes on a footing
of perfect equality, to give both one and the same educa-
tion and training and to teach them to find, through a
constant contact with a Divine Reality which is above
all sexual differentiation, the source of all possibilities
and all harmonies.
And perhaps India, the land of contrasts, will also be
the land of new realisations, even as she was the cradle
of their conception.
To read what will help the Yoga or what will be useful
for the work or what will develop the capacities for the
divine purpose. Not to read worthless stuff or for mere
entertainment or for a dilettante intellectual curiosity
338 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
which is of the nature of a mental dram-drinking. When
one is established in the highest consciousness, one can
read nothing or everything; it makes no difference.
It is not by reading books that the mind is cultured
it is by trying to think and see things clearly that it
comes. Reading is a quite secondary thing. One may
read thousands of books, yet remain narrow and foolish.
You may have all the mental knowledge in the world
and yet be impotent to face vital difficulties. Courage,
faith, sincerity towards the Light, rejection of opposite
suggestions and adverse voices are there the true help.
Then only can knowledge itself be at all effective.
It is not reading that brings the contact with the
Divine, it is the will and aspiration in the being that
What is written for X is not meant for you. He has
got into a movement of consciousness in which reading
is no longer necessary and would rather interfere with
his consciousness. There is no objection to your reading
provided it does not interfere with your meditation....
There should be no "desire" to be a "great" writer.
If there is a genuine inspiration or coming of power to
write then it can be done, but to use it as a means of
service for the Divine is the proper spirit....
It depends upon what kind of 'literary man' you want
to be, ordinary or yogic.
A literary man is one who loves literature and literary
activity for its own sake. A yogic 'literary' man is not a
literary man at all, but one who writes only what the
inner will and Word wants to express. He is a channel
and an instrument of something greater than his own lite-
It is the same with the work it has a value of moral
training, discipline, obedience, acceptance of work for
the Mother. The spiritual value and result come after-
wards when the consciousness in the vital opens upward.
So with the mental work. It is a preparation....
RELIGION is always imperfect because it is a mixture of
man's spirituality with his endeavours that come in in
trying to sublimate ignorantly his lower nature.
Religions at the best modify only the surface of the
nature. Moreover, they degenerate very soon into a
routine of ceremonial habitual worship and fixed dogmas.
340 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Religion in fact is not knowledge, but a faith and aspira-
tion; it is justified indeed both by an imprecise intuitive
knowledge of large spiritual truths and by the subjective
experience of souls that have risen beyond the ordinary
life, but in itself it only gives us the hope and faith by
which we may be induced to aspire to the intimate posses-
sion of the hidden tracts and larger realities of the Spirit.
That we turn always the few distinct truths and the sym-
bols or the particular discipline of a religion into hard
and fast dogmas, is a sign that as yet we are only infants
in the spiritual knowledge and are yet far from the science
of the Infinite.
Going for pilgrimage to holy places has nothing to do
with the Truth; it is a religious exercise for the people
of ordinary consciousness.
The Mother :
Religion belongs to the higher mind of humanity. It
is the effort of man's higher mind to approach, as far as
lies in its power, something beyond it, to which humanity
gives the name of God, which the human mind cannot
reach and yet tries to reach. Religion may be divine in
its ultimate origin but in its actual nature it is not divine
but human. The religions made by man are many and
most of them have been made in the same way. We know
how the Christian religion came into existence. It was
certainly not Jesus who made what is known as Christian-
ity, but some learned and very clever men put their
heads together and built it up into the thing we see.
There was nothing divine in the way in which it was
formed^ and there is nothing divine either in the way
in which it functions. ,
Buddha discovered a way out of earthly suffering and
misery. He saw a Truth which he endeavoured to ex-
press and communicate to the disciples and followers
who gathered around him. But even before he was
dead, his teaching had already begun to be twisted and
distorted. After his disappearance Buddhism as a full-
fledged religion reared its head, founded upon what
the Buddha is supposed to have said and on the supposed
significance of these reported sayings. Later on the dis-
ciples could not agree on what the Master had said and
there grew up a host of sects and sub-sects in the body of
the parent-religion, each of them claiming to be the
only, the original, the undefiled doctrine of the Buddha.
The same fate overtook the teaching of the Christ. All
religions have each the same story to tell. The Teacher
comes and reveals the Truth but men seize upon it,
trade upon it, make an almost political organisation out
The first and principal article of these established and
formal religions runs always, "Mine is the supreme,
the only truth, all others are in falsehood or inferior".
For without this fundamental dogma, established credal
342 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
religions could not have existed. If you do not believe
and proclaim that you alone possess the one or the highest
truth, you will not be able to impress people and make
them flock to you.
The articles and dogmas of a religion are mind-made
things and if you cling to them and shut yourself up in
a code of life made out for you, you would not know
and cannot know the truth of the Spirit that lies beyond
all codes and dogmas, wide and large and free. When you
stop at a religious creed and tie yourself in it, taking it
for the only truth in the world, you stop the advance
and widening of your inner soul. For some natures
religion has a use and it is even necessary to them; for,
through external forms, like the ceremonies of the Church,
it offers a kind of support and help to their inner spiritual
aspiration. For them religion is not an obstacle; an
obstacle for those who can go farther. All countries and
all religions are built up out of a mass of traditions. You
will then perceive what a mockery it is to say, "Because
I am brought up in this religion, therefore it is the only
true religion : because I am born in this country, there-
fore it is the best of all countries."
Things have an inner value and become real to you,
only when you have acquired them by the exercise of
your free choice, not when they have been imposed
upon you. Then only you can say with an inner truth,
"This is my family, this my country, this my religion".
Each of us has been born in many different countries,
belonged, to many different nations, followed many
different religions. Why must we accept the last one
as the best ?
If your aim is to be free, in the freedom of the Spirit,
you must get rid of all the ties that are not the inner
truth of your being. There can be no such imposition
in your relation with the Divine. Truth is self-evident
and has not to be imposed upon the world. It does
not feel the need of being accepted by men; for it is
self-existent. But one who is founding a religion needs
to have many followers. The greatness of spiritual truth
is not in numbers. The average man is drawn towards
those who make great pretensions and those who make
great pretensions need to proclaim loudly and
to advertise; for otherwise they would not attract great
numbers of people.
When you come to the Yoga, you must be ready to have
all your mental buildings and all your vital scaffoldings
shattered to pieces. You must be prepared to be sus-
pended in the air with nothing to support you except
your faith. You will have to forget your past self and its
clingings altogether, to pluck it out of your consciousness
and be born anew, free from every kind of bondage.
Think not of what you were, but of what you aspire to
be; be all in what you want to realise. Turn from your
dead past and look straight towards the future. Your
religion, country, family lie there; it is the DIVINE
344 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Visiting of Holy Places, Temples, Churches, etc. :
The Mother :
People of ordinary consciousness take to the thing
through a kind of superstition; one thinks, "if I go to the
temple or to the Church once a week, for example, if I
say my prayers regularly, something good will happen
to me." It is a superstition spread all over the world,
but it has no spiritual value....
I have been to holy places. I have seen monuments
considered as very highly religious, in France, Japan
and elsewhere; they were not always the same kind of
temples or churches nor were they the same gods but
the impression they left on me, my experiences of them
were everywhere almost the same, with but slight differ-
ences. For instance, in a most famous and most beautiful
place of worship, I saw within its holy of holies a huge
black Spider that had spread its net all around, caught
within it and absorbed all the energies emanating from
the devotion of the people, their prayers and all that.
It was not a very pleasant spectacle. Now if I had gone
and told them : you think it is God you are praying to 1
it is only a formidable vital Spider that is sucking your
force. Surely it would not have been very charitable
on my part. But everywhere it is almost the same thing.
There is a vital Force presiding. And vital beings feed
upon the vibrations of human emotion. Very few are
they, a microscopic number, who go to the temples and
VISITING OF HOLY PLACES... 345
churches and holy places with the true religious feeling,
not to pray or beg something of God, but to offer them-
selves, to express gratitude, to aspire, to surrender. These
when they are there, get some touch of the Divine just
for the moment. But all others go only out of supersti-
tion, egoism, self-interest and create the atmosphere as
it is found and it is that you usually breathe in when you
go to a holy place....
I have purposely made the experiment a little every-
where. Almost everywhere it is but a web of adverse vital
forces that use everything for their food. The bigger
the congregation, the more portentous the vital deity.
Besides, in the invisible world it is only the vital beings
that like to be worshipped. When they can have a troop
of people adoring them, they reach the very height of
But if you take a truly divine being, that is not the thing
he likes or appreciates. He does not like to be worshipped;
worship does not give him special pleasure. But if he sees
anywhere a fine intuitive sense, a good feeling, a move-
ment of unselfishness or spiritual enthusiasm, he consi-
ders that as infinitely more valuable than prayers and
Pujas. He feels neither flattered nor satisfied nor glorified
by your Puja....
From this standpoint it is good that for a time humanity
should come out of the religious atmosphere, full of fear
and blind superstitious submission by which the adverse
forces have profited so monstrously. The age of negation,
of atheism and positivism is from this view quite indis-
346 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
pensable for man's liberation from sheer ignorance. It
is only when you have come out of this, this abject sub-
mission to the evil forces of the Vital that you can rise to
truly spiritual heights and then become their collaborators
and right instruments for the forces of the Truth and
Consciousness and Power. The superstitions of the
lower levels you must leave far behind to rise high.
ALL I can do is to send you the Force that if received
would help you to change your condition; it is what I
have always done. But it cannot act effectively or at
least not at once if the doors are shut against it.
The outward touch is helpful; but the inward is still
more helpful when one is accustomed to receive it with a
certain concreteness and the outward touch is not
always fully possible, while the inward can be there
all the time.
Certainly, my force is not limited to the Ashram and
its conditions. As you know it is being largely used for
helping the right development of the war and of change
in the human world. It is also used for individual purposes
outside the scope of the Ashram and the practice of Yoga;
but that, of course, is silently done and mainly by a
SPIRITUAL FORCE 347
spiritual action. The Ashram, however, remains at
the centre of the work and without the practice of Yoga
the work would not exist and could not have any meaning
It is not very advisable to discuss either myself or the
Ashram or spiritual things with hostile minds or un-
believers. These discussions usually bring on the sadhak
a stress of the opposing atmosphere and cannot be help-
fill to his progress. Reserve is the best attitude; one need
not be concerned to dispel their bad will or their
The Mother or myself send a force. If there is no
openness, the force may be thrown back or return (unless
we put a great force which is not advisable to do) as
from an obstruction or resistance; if there is some open-
ness, the result may be partial or slow; if there is the
full openness or receptivity, then the result may be
immediate. Of course, there are things that cannot be
removed all at once, being an old part of the nature,
but with receptivity these also can be more effectively
and rapidly dealt with. Some people are so open that
even by writing they get free before the letter reaches us.
The Yoga-force is always tangible and concrete in the
way I have described and has tangible results. But it is
34 8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
invisible not like a blow given or the rush of a motor
car knocking somebody down which the physical senses
can at once perceive. How is the mere physical mind to
know that it is there and working ? By its results ? but
how can it know that the results were that of the Yogic
force and not of something else ? One of the two things
it must be. Either it must allow the consciousness to go
inside, to become aware of inner things, to believe in the
experience of the invisible and the supraphysical, and
then by experience, by the opening of new capacities,
it becomes conscious of these forces and can see, follow
and use their workings just as the Scientist uses the unseen
forces of Nature.
If you have spiritual force, it can act on people thou-
sands of miles away who do not know and never will
know that you are acting on them or that they are being
acted upon they only know that there is a force enabling
them to do things and may very well suppose it is their
own great energy and genius.
Spiritual force has its own concreteness; it can take a
form of which one is aware and can send it quite
concretely on whatever object one chooses.
I believe that all Yogins who have these powers do use
them whenever they find that they are called on from
within to do so. They may refrain if they think the use in
a particular case is contrary to the Divine Will, or see
SPIRITUAL FORCE 349
that preventing one evil may be opening the door to worse
or for any other valid reason, but not from any general
prohibitory rule. What is forbidden to anyone with a
strong spiritual sense is to be a miracle-monger, perform-
ing extraordinary things for show, for gain, for fame,
out of vanity or pride. It is forbidden to use powers
from mere vital motives, to make an Asuric ostentation
of them or to turn them into a support for arrogance,
conceit, ambition or any other of the amiable weaknesses
to which human nature is prone. It is because half-baked
Yogins so often fall into these traps of the hostile forces
that the use of Yogic powers is something discouraged
as harmful to the user.
I affirm again to you most strongly that this is the
Mother's war. You should not think of it as a fight for
certain nations against others or even for India; it is a
struggle for an ideal that has to establish itself on earth
in the life of humanity, for a Truth that has yet to realise
itself fully and against a darkness and falsehood that are
trying to overwhelm the earth and mankind in the
immediate future. It is the forces behind the battle
that have to be seen and not this or that superficial
Even if I knew that the Allies would misuse their vic-
tory or bungle the peace or partially at least spoil the
opportunities open to the human world by that victory,
350 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
I would still put my force behind them. At any rate
things could not be one-hundredth part as bad as they
would be under Hitler. The ways of the Lord would
still be open and to keep them open is what matters.
Yoga develops power, it develops it even when we
do not desire or consciously aim at it; and power is always
a double-edged weapon which can be used to hurt or
destroy as well as to help and save. Be it also noted
that all destruction is not evil.
SADHANA has to be done in the body, it cannot be done
by the soul without the body. When the body drops,
the soul goes wandering in other worlds and finally it
comes back to another life and another body. All the
difficulties it had not solved meet it again in the new
life. So what is the use of leaving the body ?
Moreover, if one throws away the body wilfully, one
suffers much in the other worlds and when one is born
again, it is in worse, not in better conditions. The only
sensible thing is to face the difficulties in this life and
this body and conquer them.
Suicide is an absurd solution; he is quite mistaken in
thinking that it will give him peace. He will only carry
his difficulties with him into a more miserable condition
of existence beyond and bring them back to another life
The Mother :
There are men who say, "How unhappy I am in this
body", and think of death as an escape. But after death
you have the same vital surroundings and are in danger
from the same forces that are the cause of your misery
in this life. The dissolution of the body forces you out
into the open spaces of the vital world. And you have
no longer a defence; there is not the physical body any
longer to rush back to for safety.
It is here upon earth, in the body itself, that you must
acquire a complete knowledge and learn to use a full
and complete power. Only when you have done that will
you be free to move about with entire security in all the
SUPERMIND is between the Sachchidananda and the
lower creation. Supermind alone contains the self-
determining Truth of the Divine Consciousness and is
necessary for Truth creation. One can of course realise
Sachchidananda in relation to the mind, life and body also
352 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
but then it is something stable, supporting by its
presence the lower Prakriti, but not transforming it. The
Supermind alone can transform the lower nature.
All truths below the Supermind are either partial or
relative or otherwise deficient and unable to transform
the earthly life; they can only at most modify and influ-
ence it. The Supermind is the vast Truth-consciousness
of which the ancient seekers spoke; there have been
glimpses of it till now, sometimes an indirect influence
or pressure, but it has not been brought down into the
consciousness of the earth and fixed there. To so bring
it down is the aim of our Yoga.
The Vedic Rishis never attained to the Supermind for
the earth or perhaps did not even make the attempt.
They tried to rise individually to the Supramental plane,,
but they did not bring it down and make it a permanent
part of the earth-consciousness.
Our Yoga is a double movement of ascent and descent;
one rises to higher and higher levels of consciousness^
but at the same time one brings down their power not only
into mind and life, but in the end even into the body.
And the highest of these levels, the one at which it aims
is the Supermind. Only when that can be brought down
is a divine transformation possible in the earth-
The Indian systems did not distinguish between two
quite different powers and levels of consciousness, one
which we can call Overmind and the other the true
Supermind or Divine Gnosis. That is the reason why
they got confused about Maya, and took it for the supreme
creative power. In so stopping short at what was still
a half-light they lost the secret of transformation, and
concluded that the one thing to do was to get beyond it
into some immovable and inactive silence of the Supreme.
Overmind stands at the top of the lower hemisphere,
and you have to pass through and beyond Overmind,
if you would reach Supermind, while still above and
beyond Supermind are the worlds of Sachchidananda.
But the last conversion is the supramental, for once
there once the nature is supramentalised, we are -beyond
the Ignorance and conversion of consciousness is no
longer needed, though a farther divine progression, even
an infinite development is still possible.
In the Supramental consciousness there are no prob-
lems the problem is created by the division set up by
the Mind. The Supramental sees the Truth as a single
whole and everything falls into its place in that whole.
354 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Our aim is to bring the secret forces out and unwalled
into the open, so that instead of getting some shadows
or lightnings of themselves out through the veil or being
wholly obstructed, they may pour down and flow in
One cannot get into the true Supermind unless one
has first objectivised the overmind truth in life, speech,
action, external knowledge and not only experienced it
in meditation and inner experience.
It is quite impossible for the Supramental to take up
the body before there has been the full supramental
change in the mind and vital. Some people always expect
some kind of miracle they do not understand that it
is a concentrated evolution, swift but following the law
f creation that has to take place. A miracle can be a
moment's wonder. A change according to the Divine
Law can alone endure. The effect of the Supramental
descent will create greater possibilities of advancing
quickly in the sadhana than now.
The human physical is always full of dark, low and
obscure forces. When the Supramental comes down
fully into the material consciousness, it will create the
right conditions there. The oneness will be created, the
constant presence and sense of contact will be felt in the
VIOLENCE NON-VIOLENCE 367
misery remains lamentably the same. It will always be
so, as long as man remains what he is, blind and igno-
rant, closed to all spiritual reality. A transformation,
an illumination of the human consciousness alone can
bring about a real amelioration in the condition of huma-
nity. Thus even from the standpoint of human life, it
follows logically that the first duty of man is to seek and
possess the divine consciousness.
In the integral Yoga, the integral life down even to the
smallest detail has to be transformed, to be divinised.
THERE is a truth in Ahimsa, there is a truth in destruc-
tion also. I do not teach that you should go on killing
everybody every day as a spiritual dharma. I say that
destruction can be done when it is part of the divine
work commanded by the Divine. Non-violence is better
than violence as a rule, and still sometimes violence may
be the right thing. I consider dharma as relative; unity
with the Divine and action from the Divine Will, the
Destruction in itself is neither good nor evil. It is a
fact of Nature, a necessity in the play of forces, as things
are in this world.
368 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
But the Gita, which strongly insists on a perfect and
absolute samata, goes on to say, "Fight, destroy the
adversary, conquer". If there is no kind of general action
wanted, no loyalty to Truth as against Falsehood except
for one's personal sadhana, no will for the Truth to
conquer, then the samata of indifference will suffice.
But here there is a work to be done, a Truth to be estab-
lished against which immense forces are ranged, invisible
forces which can use visible things and persons and
actions for their instruments. If one is among the dis-
ciples, the seeker of this Truth, one has to take sides for
the Truth, to stand against the forces that attack it and
seek to stifle it. It is personal and egoistic feeling that
has to be thrown away, hatred and vital ill-will have to
be rejected. It is a principle of action that has to be
seen in its right light and proportions.
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS OF
OUR artificial and exterior way of seeing and under-
standing is, if it may be so said, foreign to Thee, opposed
to Thy nature.
All my thoughts go towards Thee, all my acts are
consecrated to Thee; Thy Presence is for me an absolute,
immutable, invariable fact, and Thy Peace dwells con-
stantly in my heart. Yet I know that this state of union
is poor and precarious compared with that which it
will become possible for me to realise tomorrow, and
I am as yet far, no doubt very far, from that identifica-
tion in which I shall totally lose the notion of the "I".
The daily activity is the anvil on which all the elements
must pass and re-pass in order to be purified, refined,
made supple and ripe for the illumination which con-
templation gives to them. Therefore are pride and
satisfaction with oneself the worst of all obstacles.
So long as one element of the being, one movement of
the thought is still subjected to outside influences, not
solely under Thine, it cannot be said that the true Union
372 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
In Peace and Silence the Eternal manifests : allow
nothing to disturb you and the Eternal will manifest;
have perfect equality in face of all and the Eternal will
be there. We should not put too much intensity, too
much effort into our seeking for Thee; the effort and
intensity become a veil in front of Thee : we must not
desire to see Thee, for that is still a mental agitation which
obscures Thy Eternal Presence; it is in the most complete
Peace, Serenity and Equality that all is Thou even as
Thou art all. No haste, no inquietude, no tension.
And that is better than -all the meditations in the world.
Like a flame that burns in silence, like a perfume that
rises straight upward without wavering, my love goes to
Thee; and like the child who does not reason and has no
care, I trust myself to Thee that Thy Will may be done.
To abide always in Thee is the one thing that matters,
always and ever more and more in Thee, beyond illu-
sions and the deceptions of the senses, but living Thee
alone in the act whatever it may be; then the illusion
is dispelled, the falsehoods of the senses vanish, the
bond of consequences is broken, all is transformed into
a manifestation of the glory of Thy Eternal Presence.
The power of the vital should be mistrusted, it is a
tempter on the path of the work, and there is always
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS OF THE MOTHER 373
a risk of falling into its trap, for it gives you the taste
of immediate results. Very soon it deflects all our action
from the right course and introduces a seed of illusion
and death into what we do.
To be constantly and integrally at one with Thee is to
have the assurance that we shall overcome every obstacle
and triumph over all difficulties, both within and without.
Even he who might have arrived at perfect contempla-
tion in silence and solitude, could only have done so by
extracting himself from his body, by making an abstrac-
tion of himself; and thus the substance of which the
body is constituted would remain as impure, as imperfect
as before, since he would have abandoned it to itself;
by a misguided mysticism, by the attraction of supra-
physical splendours, by the egoistic desire of being
united with Thee for his personal satisfaction, he would
have turned his back upon the reason of his earthly exis-
tence, he would have refused cowardlike to accomplish
his mission to redeem and purify Matter. To know that
a part of our being is perfectly pure, to commune with
that purity, to be identified with it, can be useful only if
we subsequently utilise this knowledge for hastening the
earthly transfiguration, for accomplishing Thy sublime
374 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Be more supple, more confident. The only thing
thou hast to do is not to let thyself be troubled by any-
thing. To torment oneself about doing good brings
about as bad results as bad will. It is in the calm of
deep waters that lies the sole possibility of True Service.
All is Thine, O Lord, it is Thou who placest everything
at our disposal; but how great is our blindness when we
imagine that we can be the owners of anything !
Those who follow the path of the intellect can have a
conception very high and very true; they can conceive
the true life, the life one with Thee, but they do not
know it; they have no inner experience of that life and
they are unaware of any contact with Thee. These, who
have an intellectual knowledge -and who have shut them-
selves up for action in a construction which appears to
them the best, are the most difficult of all to convert;
one finds it harder to awaken in them the consciousness
of the Divine than in any other being of good-will.
We must at each moment shake off the past like falling
dust, so that it may not soil the virgin path which, also
at each moment, opens before us.
It is in oneself that there are all the obstacles, it is in
oneself that there are all the difficulties, it is in oneself
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS OF THE MOTHER 375
that there is all the darkness and ignorance.... The one
thing important is to know and obey Thy law with
love and joy.
We must not run away from suffering, we must not
love and cultivate it either, we must learn how to go
down deep enough in it to make it a lever which will
have the power to force open the doors of the eternal con-
sciousness and enter into the serenity of Thy unvarying
What do the outer circumstances matter ? They appear
to me every day more vain and more illusory, and I
take less and less interest in what will outwardly happen
to us; but I am more and more intensely interested in
the only thing which appears to me important : to know
Thee better in order to serve Thee better.
O Lord, give us the capacity to do the work without
being attached to it, and to develop the powers of indi-
vidual manifestation without living in the illusion of the
Certainly, it is easier to suppress than to organise; blit
a harmonious order is a realisation far superior to
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
Terrestrial realisations easily assume a great importance
in our eyes, for they are proportioned to our external
being, to this limited form which makes of us men.
But what is a terrestrial realisation compared with Thee,
in front of Thee ? However perfect, however complete,
however divine itmay be, it isonly an indiscernible moment
in Thy eternity; and the results obtained by it, however
powerful, however marvellous they may be, are but an
imperceptible atom in the infinite advance towards
Thee. It is this that Thy workers should never forget,
otherwise they will become unfit to serve Th<*e.
O Divine Master, let Thy light fall upon this chaos
and a new world emerge from it. What is now preparing
accomplish and let a new humanity be born which will
be the perfect expression of Thy new sublime Law.
Lord, may Thy will be done, may Thy work be accom-
plished. Fortify our devotion, increase our surrender
and enlighten us on the path. We establish Thee as the
supreme Master within us so that Thou mayst become
the Supreme Master of the whole earth.
O Lord, if my understanding is limited, widen it; if
my knowledge is obscure, enlighten it; if my heart is
empty of ardour, set it aflame; if my love is insignificant,
PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS OF THE MOTHER 377
make it intense; if my feelings are ignorant and egoistic,
give them the full consciousness in the Truth.
At every moment we must know how to lose everything
in order to gain everything, to shed the past as a dead
body and be reborn into a greater plenitude.
But when I turn my look towards the earth, I see that
man's field of action, however large it may be, is always
terribly restricted. A man, who, in his mind and even
in his vital being is vast like the universe, or at least like
the earth, as soon as he begins to act, is shut up within
the narrow limits of a material action, very bounded in
its field and results.
There is a Power which no government can command,
a Happiness which no earthly success can give, a Light
which no wisdom can possess, a Knowledge which no
philosophy, no science can acquire, a Beatitude of which
no satisfaction of desire can give the enjoyment, a thirst
for Love which no human relation can quench, a Peace
which can be found nowhere, not even in death.
It is the Power, the Happiness, the Light, the Know-
ledge, the Beatitude, the Love and the Peace which
come to us from the Divine Grace.
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The heavens have been definitively conquered, and
nothing and nobody has the power to take them from
me. But the conquest of the earth has yet to be made....
O MY LORD, my sweet Master, for the accomplish-
ment of Thy work I have sunk down into the unfa-
thomable depths of Matter, I have touched with my
finger the horror of the falsehood and the inconscience>
I have reached the seat of oblivion and a supreme obs-
curity ! But in my heart was the Remembrance, from
my heart there leaped the call which could arrive to
Thee : "Lord, Lord, everywhere Thy enemies are
triumphant; falsehood is the monarch of the world;
life without Thee is death, a perpetual hell; doubt has
usurped the place of Hope and revolt has pushed out
submission; Faith is spent, Gratitude is not born; blind
passions and murderous instincts and a guilty weakness
have covered and stifled Thy sweet law of love. Lord,
wilt Thou permit Thy enemies to prevail, falsehood
and ugliness and suffering to triumph ? Lord, give the
command to conquer and victory will be there. I
know we are unworthy, I know the world is not yet
ready. But I cry to Thee with an absolute faith in Thy
Grace and I know that Thy Grace will save us."
Thus, my prayer rushed up towards Thee : and,
from the depths of the abyss, I beheld Thee in Thy
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 379
radiant splendour; Thou didst appear and Thou saidst
to me : "Lose not courage, be firm, be confident,
THE SYNTHESIS OF YOGA
HE who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the
For the Sadhaka of the integral Yoga it is necessary
to remember that no written Shastra, however greatest
authority or however large its spirit, can be more than a
partial expression of the eternal knowledge. He will use,
but never bind himself even by the greatest Scripture.
An integral and synthetic Yoga needs especially not to
be bound by any written or traditional Shastra; for while
it embraces the knowledge received from the past, it seeks
to organise it anew for the present and the future....
By this Yoga we not only seek the Infinite, but we call
upon the Infinite to unfold himself in human life...,
The development of the experience in its rapidity, its
amplitude, the intensity and power of its results, depends
primarily, in the beginning of the path and long after,,
on the aspiration and personal effort of the sadhaka.
The first determining element of the siddhi is, therefore,
the intensity of the turning, the force which directs the
soul inward. The power of aspiration of the heart,.
380 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the force of the will, the concentration of the mind, the
perseverance and determination of the applied energy
are the measure of that intensity....
So long as the contact with the Divine is not in some
considerable degree established, so long as there is not
some measure of sustained identity, the element of the
personal effort must normally predominate....
Man demands miracles that he may have faith; he
wishes to be dazzled in order that he may see. And this
impatience, this ignorance may turn into a great danger
and disaster if, in our revolt against the divine leading,
we call in another distorting Force more satisfying to our
impulses and desires and ask it to guide us and give it
the Divine Name.
The spiritual progress of most human beings demands
an extraneous support, an object of faith outside us.
It needs an external image of God; or it needs a human
representative, Incarnation, Prophet or Guru; or it
demands both and receives them. For according to the
need of the human soul the Divine manifests himself
as deity, 'as human divine or in simple humanity using
that thick disguise, which so successfully conceals the
Godhead, for a means of transmission of his guidance....
All Yoga is in its nature a new birth; it is a birth out of
the ordinary, the mentalised material life of man into a
higher spiritual consciousness and a greater and diviner
being. No Yoga can be successfully undertaken and
followed unless there is a strong awakening to the neces-
sity of that larger spiritual existence....
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 381
The mere idea or intellectual seeking of something
higher beyond, however strongly grasped by the mind's
interest, is ineffective unless it is seized on by the heart
as the one thing desirable and by the will as the one thing
to be done. For truth of the Spirit has not to be merely
thought but to be lived, and to live it demands a unified
single-mindedness of the being; so great a change as is
contemplated by the Yoga is not to be effected by a divided
will or by a small portion of the energy or by a hesitating
mind. He who seeks the Divine must consecrate himself
to God and to God only....
But for the sadhaka of the integral Yoga, in accepting
life, he has to bear not only his own burden, but a great
part of the world's burden too along with it, as a conti-
nuation of his own sufficiently heavy load. Therefore
his Yoga has much more of the nature of a battle than
others'; but this is not only an individual battle, it is a
collective war waged over a considerable country. He has
not only to conquer in himself the forces of egoistic
falsehood and disorder, but to conquer them as repre-
sentatives of the same adverse and inexhaustible forces
in the world....
The transformation of our superficial, narrow and
fragmentary human way of thinking, seeing, feeling and
being into a deep and wide spiritual consciousness and an
integrated inner and outer existence and of our ordinary
human living into the divine way of life must be its
central purpose. The means towards this supreme end
is a self-giving of all our nature to the Divine....
382 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The life of the human creature, as it is ordinarily lived,
is composed of a half-fixed, half fluid mass of very im-
perfectly ruled thoughts, perceptions, sensations, emo-
tions, desires, enjoyments, acts mostly customary and
self-repeating, in part only dynamic and self-developing,
but all centred around a superficial ego. The sum of
movement of these activities eventuates in an internal
growth which is partly visible and operative in this life,
partly a seed of progress in lives hereafter. This growth
of the conscious being, an expansion, an increasing self-
expression, a more and more harmonised development
of his constituent members is the whole meaning and
all the pith of human existence. It is for this meaningful
development of consciousness by thought, will, emotion,
desire, action and experience, leading in the end to a
supreme divine self-discovery, that Man, the mental
being, has entered into the material body. The aim set be-
fore our Yoga is nothing less than to hasten this supreme
object of our existence here. It is this new birth that
we make our aim : a growth into a divine consciousness
is the whole meaning of our Yoga, an integral conversion
to divinity not only of the soul but of all the parts of our
The Gita at its cryptic close may seem by its silence
to stop short of that solution for which we are seeking;
it pauses at the borders of the highest spiritual mind and
does not cross them into the splendours of the supra-
The true essence of sacrifice is not self-immolation,
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 383
it is self-giving; its object not self-effacement, but self-
fulfilment; its method not self-mortification, but a greater
life, not self-mutilation, but a transformation of our
natural human parts into divine members, not self-
torture, but a passage from a lesser satisfaction to a greater
To the soul that wholly gives itself to him, God also
gives himself altogether. Only the one who offers his
whole nature, finds the Self. Only the one who can give
everything, enjoys the Divine All everywhere. Only a
supreme self-abandonment attains to the Supreme.
Only the sublimation by sacrifice of all that we are,
can enable us to embody the Highest and live here
in the immanent consciousness of the transcendent
The practice of this Yoga of sacrifice compels us to
renounce all the inner supports of egoism, casting them
out of our m'nd and will and actions, and to eliminate
its seed, its presence, its influence out of our nature.
All must be done for the Divine; all must be directed to-
wards the Divine. Nothing must be attempted for our-
selves as a separate existence; nothing done for others,
whether neighbours, friends, family, country or mankind
or other creatures merely because they are connected
with our personal life and thought and sentiment or
because the ego takes a preferential interest in their
This pilgrimage of ascension and this descent for the
labour of transformation must be inevitably a battle, a
384 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
long war with ourselves and with opposing forces around
us which, while it lasts, may well seem interminable.
For all our old obscure and ignorant nature will contend
repeatedly and obstinately with the transforming In-
fluence, supported in its lagging unwillingness or its
stark resistance by most of the established forces of
environing universal Nature; the powers and princi-
palities and the ruling beings of the Ignorance will not
easily give up their empire....
It is for this that a surrender and submission to That
which is beyond us enabling the full and free working
of its Power is indispensable. As that self-giving pro-
gresses, the work of the sacrifice becomes easier and more
powerful and the prevention of the opposing Forces loses
much of its strength, impulsion and substance....
The extreme solution insisted on by the world-shun-
ning ascetic or the inward-turned ecstatical and self-
oblivious mystic is evidently foreign to the purpose of
an integral Yoga; for if we are to realise the Divine in the
world, it cannot be done by leaving aside the world-
action and action itself altogether. The spiritualisation
of both the inward being and the outward life and not
a compromise between life and the spirit is the goal of
which we are the seekers....
The guiding law of spiritual experience can only come
by an opening of human consciousness to the Divine
Consciousness; there must be the power to receive
in us the working and command and dynamic presence
of the Divine Shakti and surrender ourselves to her
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 385
control; it is that surrender and that control which bring
the guidance. . . .
The integral Yoga, refusing to rely upon the fragile
stuff of mental and moral ideals, puts its whole emphasis
in this field on three central dynamic processes the
development of the true soul or psychic being to take the
place of the false soul of desire, the sublimation of human
into divine love, the elevation of consciousness from its
mental to its spiritual and supramental plane by whose
power alone both the soul and the life-force can be utterly
delivered from the veils and prevarications of the
This physical mind of inertia of the ignorant man
believes in no divinity other than its small earth-gods;
it aspires perhaps to a greater comfort, order, pleasure,
but asks for no uplifting and spiritual deliverance. A
principle of dark and dull inertia is at its base; all are
tied down by the body and its needs and desires to a
trivial mind, petty desires and emotions, an insignificant
repetition of small worthless functionings, needs, cares,
occupations, pains, pleasures that lead to nothing beyond
themselves and bear the stamp of an ignorance that
knows not its own why and whither....
Life is indispensable to the completeness of the crea-
tive spiritual realisation, but life released, transformed,
uplifted, not the ordinary mentalised human-animal
life, nor the demoniac or Titanic, not even the
divine and the undivine mixed together. If once our
consciousness could reach the heights of a supra-
386 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
mental Nature, then indeed these disabilities would
The integral Yoga cannot reject the works of Life and
be satisfied with an inward experience only; it has to go
inward in order to change the outward, making the
Life-Force a part and a working of a Yoga-Energy which
is in touch with the Divine and divine in its guidance....
The soul of desire is a separative soul of ego and all
its instincts are for a separative self-affirmation. It is
when there is this death of desire and this calm equal
wideness in the consciousness everywhere, that the true
vital being within us comes out from the veil and reveals
its own calm, intense and potent presence....
A call of the veiled psychic element oppressed by the
mass of the outer ignorance and crying for deliverance,
a stress of eager meditation and seeking for knowledge,
a longing of the heart, a passionate will ignorant yet but
sincere may break the lid that shuts off the Higher from
the Lower Nature and open the floodgates....
Whoever clings to the desires and weaknesses of the
flesh, the cravings and passions of the vital in its tur-
bulent ignorance, the dictates of his personal mind un-
silenced and unillumined by a greater knowledge, cannot
find the true inner law and is heaping obstacles in the way
of the divine fulfilment. Whoever is able to detect and
renounce those obscuring agencies and to discern and
follow the true Guide within and without will discover
the spiritual law and reach the goal of the yoga....
The good is all that helps the individual and the world
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 387
towards their divine fullness, and evil is all that retards
or breaks up that increasing perfection....
To those who can act only on a rigid standard, to those
who can feel only the human and not the divine values,
this truth may seem to be a dangerous concession which
is likely to destroy the very foundation of morality,
confuse all conduct and establish only chaos....
The true business of man upon earth is to express in
the type of humanity a growing image of the Divine;
whe her knowingly or unknowingly, it is to this end that
Nature is working in him under the thick veil of her
inner and outer processes. But the material or animal
man is ignorant of the inner aim of life; he knows only
its needs and its desires and he has necessarily no other
guide to what is required of him than his own perception
of need and his own stirrings and pointings of desire....
Whoever sincerely enters the path of works, must
leave behind him the stage in which need and desire are
the first law of our acts. For whatever desires still trouble
his being, he must, if he accepts the high aim of Yoga,
put them away from him into the hands of the Lord
within us. The supreme Power will deal with them for
the good of the sadhaka and for the good of all..,.
The total surrender, then, of all our actions to a sup-
reme and universal Will, an unconditioned and stan-
dardless surrender of all works to the government of
something eternal within us which will replace the
ordinary working of the ego-nature, is the way and end
388 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
An entire self-consecration, a complete equality, an
unsparing effacement of the ego, a transforming deli-
verance of the nature from its ignorant modes of action
are the steps by which the surrender of all the being
and nature to the Divine Will can be prepared and
achieved, a self-giving true, total and without
So long as we work with attachment to the result, the
sacrifice is offered not to the Divine, but to our ego. We
may think otherwise, but we are deceiving ourselves; we
are making our idea of the Divine, our sense of duty, our
feeling for our fellow-creatures, our idea of what is good
for the world or others, even our obedience to the Master
a ma$k for our egoistic satisfactions and preferences and a
specious shield against the demand made on us to root all
desire out of our natures....
At this stage of the Yoga and even throughout the
Yoga this form of desire, this figure of the ego is the
enemy against whom we have to be always on our guard
with an unsleeping vigilance....
It is still the "I" that chooses and determines, it is
still the "I" that undertakes the responsibility and feels
the demerit or tho merit. An entire removal of this
separative ego-sense is an essential aim of our Yoga.
The sadhaka has not only to think and know but
to see and feel concretely and intensely even in the mo-
ment of the working and in its initiation and whole
process that his works are not his at all, but are coming
through him from the Supreme Existence. He must
SYNTHESIS OF YOGA 389
be always aware of a Force, a Presence, a Will that acts
through his individual nature....
A great sincerity is asked for and has to be imposed not
only on the conscious mind but still more on the subli-
minal part of us which is full of hidden movements.
For there is there, especially in our subliminal vital
nature, an incorrigible charlatan and actor. The sadhaka
must first have advanced far in the elimination of desire
and in the firm equality of his soul towards all workings
and all happenings before he can utterly lay down the
burden of his works on the Divine. At every moment
he must proceed with a vigilant eye upon the deceits
of the ego and the ambushes of the misleading Powers
of Darkness. Wherever desire and ego harbour, passion
and disturbance harbour with them and share their life....
The Master of the work does not reveal himself at
once to the seeker. Always it is his Power that acts
behind the veil, but it is manifest only when we re-
nounce the egoism of the worker, and its direct move-
ment increases in proportion as that renunciation
becomes more and more concrete. Only when our sur-
render to his divine Shakti is absolute, shall we have
the right to live in his absolute presence....
There must, therefore, be stages and gradations in our
approach to this perfection, as there are in the progress
towards all other perfection on any plane of Nature....
In all Yogas the first requisites are faith and patience.
And in the long and difficult integral Yoga there must be
an integral faith and an unshakable patience....
390 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
The Master of our works respects our nature even
when he is transforming it ; he works always through
the nature and not by any arbitrary caprice....
The rules which the intellect of men lays down cannot
apply to the liberated soul, by the external criteria
and tests which their mental association and pre judgments
prescribe, such a one cannot be judged ; he is outside
the narrow jurisdiction of these fallible tribunals. He is
not governed by the judgments of men or the laws laid
down by the ignorant; he obeys an inner voice and is
moved by an unseen Power....
To participate in the divine work, to live for God in
the world will be the rule of the Karmayogin ; to live
for God in the world and therefore so to act that the
Divine may more and more manifest himself and the
world go forward by whatever way of its obscure
pilgrimage and move nearer to the divine ideal....
A free heart is a heart delivered from the gusts and
storms of the affections and the passions; the assailing
touch of grief, wrath, hatred, fear, inequality of love,
trouble of joy, pain of sorrow fall away from the equal
heart, and leave it a thing large, calm, equal, luminous,
To be self-ruler is not possible for him if he is subject
to the attacks of the lower nature, to the turbulence of
grief and joy, to the violent touches of pleasure and pain,
THE DIVINE LIFE 391
to the tumult of his emotions and passions, to the bon-
dage of his personal likings and dislikings, to the strong
chains of desire and attachment, to the narrowness
of a personal and emotionally preferential judgment
and opinion, to all the hundred touches of his egoism
and its pursuing stamp on his thought, feeling and
action. All these things are the slavery to the lower self
which the greater "I" in man must put under his feet
if he is to be king of his own nature. To surmount them
is the condition of self-rule, but of that surmounting
again equality is the condition and the essence of the
THE DIVINE LIFE
OUR endeavour has been to discover what is the reality
and significance of our existence as conscious beings in
the material universe and in what direction and how far
that significance once discovered leads us, to what human
or divine future....
But consciousness as it is, life as it is cannot be the
whole secret ; for both are very clearly something un-
finished and still in process. In us consciousness is
Mind and our mind is ignorant and imperfect, an inter-
mediate power that has grown and is still growing to-
wards something beyond itself.... Before our thinking,
reasoning, reflecting mind there was a consciousness
unthinking but living and sentient, and before that there
392 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
was the subconscious and the unconscious ; after us or
in our yet unevolved selves there is likely to be waiting
a greater consciousness, self-luminous, not dependent
on constructive thought : our imperfect and ignorant
thought-mind is certainly not the last word of conscious-
ness, its ultimate possibility.... Its destiny must be to
evolve into its own perfection which is its true nature....
The destiny of evolving consciousness must be, then,
to become perfect in its awareness, entirely aware of
self and all-aware.... It is this to which we have given
the name of Supermind or Gnosis....
If consciousness is the central secret, life is the out-
ward indication, the effective power of being in Matter;
for it is that which liberates consciousness and gives it
its form or embodiment of force and its effectuation
in material act.... Man, the mental being, has an imperfect
life because mind is not the first and highest power of
consciousness of the Being; even if mind were perfected,
there would be still something yet to be realised, not yet
manifested. For what is involved and emergent is not a
Mind, but a Spirit, and mind is not the native dynamism
of consciousness of the Spirit; supermind, the light of
gnosis, is its native dynamism. If then life has to become
a manifestation of the Spirit, it is the manifestation of
a spiritual being in us and the divine life of a perfected
consciousness in a supramental or gnostic power of
spiritual being that must be the secret burden and inten-
tion of evolutionary Nature....
As the mind and life become illumined with the light
THE DIVINE LIFE 393
of the spirit, they put on or reflect something of the
divinity, the secret greater Reality.... But, for the full
and perfect fulfilment of the evolutionary urge, this illu-
mination and change must take up 'and re-create the
whole being, mind, life and body... it must take form
not only in the life of the individual but as a collective
life of gnostic beings established as a highest power and
form of the becoming of the Spirit in the earth-nature....
There can undoubtedly be a spiritual life within, a king-
dom of heaven within us which is not dependent on
any outer manifestation or instrumentation or formula
of external being. The inner life has a supreme spiritual
importance and the outer has a value only in so far as it
is expressive of the inner status....
In our present life of Nature, in our externalised
surface existence, it is the world that sesms to create
us; but in the turn to the spiritual life it is we who must
create ourselves and our world. In this new formula of
creation, the inner life becomes of the first importance
and the rest can be only its expression and outcome....
In the growth into a divine life the spirit must be our
first preoccupation; until we have revealed and evolved it
in our self out of its mental, vital, physical wrappings and
disguises, extricated it with patience from our own
body, as the Upanishad puts it, until we have built up in
ourselves an inner life of the spirit, it is obvious that
no outer divine living can become possible.... A perfected
human world cannot be created by men or composed
of men who are themselves imperfect....
394 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
This then is the first necessity that the individual,
each individual, shall discover the spirit, the divine
reality within him and express that in all his being and
living. A divine life must be first and foremost an inner
life; for since the outward must be the expression of
what is within, there can be no divinity in the outer
existence if there is not the divinisation of the inner
being.... To be aware wholly and integrally of oneself and
of all the truth of one's being is the necessary condition
of true possession of existence. This ^elf-awareness is
what is meant by spiritual knowledge....
To become complete in being, in consciousness of
being, in force of being, in delight of being and to live
in this integrated completeness is the divine living....
All being is one and to be fully is to be all that is. To be
in the being of all and to include all in one's being, to
be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated
in force with the universal force, to carry all action and
experience in oneself and feel it as one's own action
and experience, to feel all selves as one's own self, to
feel all delight of being as one's own delight of being
is a necessary condition of the integral divine
But thus to be universally in the fullness and freedom
of one's universality, one must be also transcendentally.
The spiritual fullness of the being is eternity; if one has
not the consciousness of timeless eternal being, if one is
dependent on body or embodied mind or embodied
life, or dependent on this world or that world or on this
THE DIVINE LIFE 395
condition of being or that condition of being, that is
not the reality of self, not the fullness of our spiritual
existence. To live only as a self of body or be only by the
body is to be an ephemeral creature, subject to death
and desire and pain and suffering and decay and deca-
dence. To transcend, to exceed consciousness of body,
not to be held in the body or by the body, to hold the
body only as an instrument, a minor outward formation
of self, is a first condition of divine living....
He must enter into the supreme divine Reality, feel
his oneness with it, live in it, be its self-creation : all
his mind, life, physicality must be converted into terms
of its Supernature....
These things are impossible without an inward living ;
they cannot be reached by remaining in an external
consciousness turned always outwards, active only or
mainly on and from the surface. The individual being
has to find himself, his true existence ; he can only do
this by going inward, by living within and from within :
for the external or outer consciousness or life separated
from the inner spirit is the field of the Ignorance....
This movement of going inward and living inward is
a difficult task to lay upon the normal consciousness of
the human being; yet there is no other way of self-
But to those into whose composition there has entered
the power of a more inner living, the movement of
going within and living within brings not a darkness or
dull emptiness but an enlargement, a rush of new ex-
396 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
perience, a greater vision, a larger capacity, an extended
life infinitely more real and various than the first petti-
ness of the life constructed for itself by our normal
physical humanity, a joy of being which is larger and
richer than any delight in existence that the outer vital
man or the surface mental man can gain by their dynamic
vital force and activity or subtlety and expansion of the
mental existence. A silence, an entry into a wide or
even immense or infinite emptiness is part of the inner
spiritual experience.... it is the passage not into non-
existence but to a greater existence....
Our utmost universalisation on the surface is a poor
and limping endeavour, it is a construction, a make-
believe and not the real thing : for in our surface con-
sciousness we are bound to separation of consciousness
from others and wear the fetters of the ego. There
our very selflessness becomes more often than not a
subtle form of selfishness or turns into a larger affirmation
of our ego ; content with our pose of altruism, we do not
see that it is a veil for the imposition of our individual
self, our ideas, our mental and vital personality, our
need of ego-enlargement upon the others whom we take
up into our expanded orbit....
...The gnostic being will act, not out of a surface
sentiment of love and sympathy or any similar feeling, but
out of this close mutual consciousness, this intimate
oneness. All his action in the world will be enlightened
by a truth of vision of what has to be done, a sense of the
will of the Divine Reality in him which is also the Divine
THE DIVINE LIFE 397
Reality in others, and it will be done for the Divine in
all, for the effectuation of the truth of purpose o the
All as seen in the light of the highest Consciousness and
in the way and by the steps through which it must be
effectuated in the power of the Supernature.... There
is no separative ego in him to initiate anything ; it is the
Transcendent and Universal that moves out through his
universalised individuality into the action of the uni-
verse. As he does not live for a separate ego, so too he
does not live for the purpose of any collective ego; he
lives in and for the Divine in himself, in and for the
Divine in the collectivity, in and for the Divine in all
beings. This universality in action, organised by the
all-seeing Will in the sense of the realised oneness of
all, is the law of his divine living.... This calls for the
appearance not only of isolated evolved individuals
acting in the unevolved mass, but of many gnostic indi-
viduals forming a new kind of beings and a new common
life superior to the present individual and common
All will be united by the evolution of the Truth-
consciousness in them; in the changed way of being
which this consciousness would bring about in them,
they will feel themselves to be embodiments of a single
self, souls of a single Reality....
Unity is the basis of the gnostic consciousness, mutu-
ality the natural result of its direct awareness of oneness
in diversity, harmony the inevitable power of the working
of its force. Unity, mutuality and harmony must there-
398 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
fore be the inescapable law of a common or collective
An evolution of innate and latent but as yet unevolved
powers of consciousness is not considered admissible
by the modern mind, because these exceed our present
formulation of Nature and, to our ignorant preconceptions
founded on a limited experience, they seem to belong to
the supernatural, to the miraculous and occult ; for
they surpass the known action of material Energy which is
now ordinarily accepted as the sole cause and mode of
things and the sole instrumentation of the World-Force....
But there would be nothing supernatural or miraculous
in such an evolution, except in so far as it would be a
supernature or superior nature to ours just as human
nature is a supernature or superior nature to that of
animal or plant or material objects....
What is lacking is a spiritual knowledge and spiritual
power, a power over self, a power born of inner unifica-
tion with others, a power over the surrounding or invading
world-forces, a full-visioned and fully equipped power
of effectuation of knowledge; it is these capacities missing
or defective in us that belong to the very substance of
gnostic being, for they are inherent in the light and
dynamis of the gnostic nature....
Our nature is complex and we have to find a key to
some perfect unity and fullness of its complexity. Its
first evolutionary basis is the material life; Nature began
with that and man also has to begin with it; he has first
to affirm his material and vital existence. But if he stops
THE DIVINE LIFE 399
there, there can be for him no evolution; his next and
greater preoccupation must be to find himself as a mental
being in a material life both individual and social as
perfected as possible.... Beyond and above this preoccupa-
tion, as soon as mind is sufficiently developed, there
awakes in man the spiritual preoccupation, the discovery
of a self and inmost truth of being and the release of man's
mind and life into the truth of the Spirit, its perfection
by the power of the Spirit, the solidarity, unity, mutuality
of all beings in the Spirit....
As an element in the total complexity of human life,
this stress on a perfected economic and material existence
has its place in the whole : as a sole or predominant stress
it is for humanity itself, for the evolution itself full of
danger. The first danger is a resurgence of the old vital
and material primitive barbarian in a civilised form;
the means Science has put at our disposal eliminates the
peril of the subversion and destruction of an effete civili-
sation by stronger prihiitive peoples, but it is the resur-
gence of the barbarian in ourselves, in civilised man,
that is the peril, and this we see all around us. For that is
bound to come if there is no high and strenuous mental
and moral ideal controlling and uplifting the vital and
physical man in us and no spiritual ideal liberating him
from himself into his inner being....
At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary
crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny; for a
stage has been reached in which the human mind has
achieved in certain directions an enormous development
400 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
while in others it stands arrested and bewildered and
can no longer find its way.... Man has created a system
of civilisation which has become too big for his limited
mental capacity and understanding and his still more
limited spiritual and moral capacity to utilise and manage,
a too dangerous servant ;of his blundering ego and its
A life of unity, mutuality and harmony born of a
deeper and wider truth of our being is the only truth of
life that can successfully replace the imperfect mental
constructions of the past which were a combination of
association and regulated conflict, an accommodation of
egos and interests grouped or dovetailed into each other
to form a society, a consolidation by common general
life-motives, a unification by need and the pressure of
struggle with outside forces....
A total spiritual direction given to the whole life and
the whole nature can alone lift humanity beyond itself....
It is only the full emergence of the soul, the full descent
of the native light and power of the Spirit and consequent
replacement or transformation and uplifting of our
insufficient mental and vital nature by a spiritual and
supramental supernature that can effect this evolutionary
miracle... what evolutionary Nature presses for, is an
awakening to the knowledge of self, the discovery of
self, the manifestation of the self and spirit within us and
the release of its self-knowledge, its self-power, its native
self-instrumentation. . . .
What is necessary is that there should be a turn in hu-
THE DIVINE LIFE 4OI
manity felt by some or many towards the vision of this
change, a feeling of its imperative need, the sense of its
possibility, the will to make it possible in themselves
and to find the way..., The inner change can begin to take
shape in a collective form only if the gnostic individual
finds others who have the same kind of inner life as himself
and can form with them a group with its own autonomous
existence or else a separate community or order of beings
with its own inner law of life. It is this need of a separate
life with its own rule of living adapted to the inner power
or motive force of the spiritual existence and creating
for it its native atmosphere that has expressed itself
in the past in the formation of the monastic life or in
attempts of various kinds at a new separate collective
living self-governed and other in its spiritual principle
than the ordinary human life. The monastic life is in its
nature an association of other-worldly seekers, men
whose whole attempt is to find and realise in themselves
the spiritual reality and who form their common exis-
tence by rules of living which help them in that endea-
vour. It is not usually an effort to create a new life-
formation which will exceed the ordinary human society
and create a new world-order. A religion may hold
that eventual prospect before it or attempt some first
approach to it, or a mental idealism may make the same
endeavour. But these attempts have always been over-
come by the persistent inconscience and ignorance of our
human vital nature.... Either the endeavour fails by its
own imperfection or it is invaded by the imperfection of
4O2 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
the outside world and sinks from the shining height of
its aspiration to something mixed and inferior on the
ordinary human level. A common spiritual life meant
to express the spiritual and not the mental, vital and phy-
sical being must found and maintain itself on greater
values than the mental, vital, physical values of the ordi-
nary human society.... An entirely new consciousness in
many individuals transforming their whole being, trans-
forming their mental, vital and physical nature-self,
is needed for the new life to appear; only such a trans-
formation of the general mind, life, body nature can
bring into being a new worth- while collective existence....
A general change from the old consciousness taking up
the whole life into the spiritual principle would be the
necessary first step; the preparation for this might be long
and the transformation itself once begun proceed by
stages.... At a certain stage it might be necessary to follow
the agelong device of the separate community, but with
a double purpose, first to provide a secure atmosphere,
a place and life apart, in which the consciousness of the
individual might concentrate on its evolution in surround-
ings where all was turned and centred towards the one
endeavour and, next, when things were ready, to formulate
and develop the new life in those surroundings and this
prepared spiritual atmosphere. It might be that, in such
a concentration of effort, all the difficulties of the change
would present themselves with a concentrated force;
for each seeker, carrying in himself the possibilities but
also the imperfections of a world that has to be trans-
THE DIVINE LIFE 403
formed, would bring in not only his capacities but his
difficulties and the oppositions of the old nature and,
mixed together in the restricted circle of a small and
close common life, these might assume a considerably
enhanced force of obstruction which would tend to coun-
terbalance the enhanced power and concentration of the
forces making for the evolution. This is a difficulty that
has broken in the past all the efforts of mental man to
evolve something better and more true and harmonious
than the ordinary mental and vital life. But if Nature is
ready and has taken her evolutionary decision or if the
power of the Spirit descending from the higher planes is
sufficiently strong, the difficulty would be overcome and
a first evolutionary formation or formations would be
A complete seclusion or separation of the life of a spiri-
tual community from the life of the Ignorance would
then seem to impose itself : for otherwise a compromise
between the two lives would be necessary and with the
compromise a danger of contamination or incompleteness
of the greater existence; two different and incompatible
principles of existence would be in contact and, even
though the greater would influence the lesser, the smaller
life would also have it effect on the greater, since such
mutual impact is the law of all contiguity and (interchange.
...But it is to be supposed that the new and completer
light would bring also a new and completer power. It might
not be necessary for it to be entirely separate; it might
establish itself in so many islets and from there spread
404 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
through the old life, throwing out upon it its own in-
fluences and filtrations, gaining upon it, bringing to it a
help and illumination which a new aspiration in
mankind might after a time begin to understand and
If we suppose the gnostic consciousness to be esta-
blished in the earth-life, the power and knowledge at its
disposal would be much greater than the power and
knowledge of the mental man, and the life of a commu-
nity of gnostic beings, supposing it to be separate, would
be as safe against attack as the organised life of man
against any attack by a lower species.... The influence of
the supramental principle on earth would fall upon the
life of the Ignorance and impose harmony on it within its
limits. It is conceivable that the gnostic life would be
separate, but it would surely admit within its borders as
much of human life as was turned towards spirituality
and in progress towards the heights....
As the universalised spiritual individual sheds the
limited personality, the ego, as he rises beyond mind to a
completer knowledge in Supernature, the conflicting
ideals of the mind must fall away from him, but what
is true behind them will remain in the life of Supernature.
The gnostic consciousness is a consciousness in which
all contradictions are cancelled or fused into each other
in a higher light of seeing and being, in a unified self-
knowledge and world-knowledge. The gnostic being
will not accept the mind's ideals and standards; he will
not be moved to live for himself, for his ego, or for
THE DIVINE LIFE 405
humanity or for others or for the community or for the
State; for he will be aware of something greater than these
half-truths, of the Divine Reality, and it is for that he
Life and the body would be no longer tyrannous
masters demanding nine-tenths of existence for their
satisfaction, but means and powers for the expression of
the spirit. At the same time, since the matter and the
body are accepted, the control and the right use of physical
things would be a part of the realised life of the spirit
in the manifestation in earth-nature.... A complete purity
and self-mastery would be in the very grain of its nature
and that would remain the same in poverty or in riches.
...The one rule of the gnostic life would be the self-
expression of the Spirit, the will of the Divine Being....
A life of gnostic beings carrying the evolution to a
higher supramental status might fitly be characterised
as a divine life; for it would be a life in the Divine....
It must lead inevitably towards an evolution in the
Knowledge, a self-finding and self-unfolding of the
Spirit, a self-revelation of the Divinity in things in that
true power of itself in Nature which is to us still a
APPENDIX I .
THE PASSING OF SRI AUROBINDO AND HIS
The Mother :
To THEE who hast been the material envelop of our
Master, to THEE our infinite gratitude. Before THEE
who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, strug-
gled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before THEE
who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved
all for us, before THEE we bow down and implore
that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we
owe tcr THEE.
The lack of receptivity of the earth and men is mostly
responsible for the decision Sri Aurobindo has taken
regarding his body. But one thing is certain; what has
happened on the physical plane affects in no way the
truth of his teaching. All that he has said is perfectly
true and remains so. Time and the course of events will
prove it abundantly.
Our Lord has sacrificed himself totally for us.... He was
not compelled to leave his body, he chose to do so for
PASSING OF SRI AUROBINDO 407
reasons so sublime that they are beyond the reach of
human mentality. And when one cannot understand,
the only thing to do is to keep a respectful silence.
We stand in the Presence of Him who has sacrificed
his physical life in order to help more fully his work of
He is always with us, aware of what we are doing, of
all our thoughts, of all our feelings and all our actions.
To grieve is an insult to Sri Aurobindo who is here
with us, conscious and alive.
Sri Aurobindo has given up his body in an act of
supreme unselfishness, renouncing the realisation in his
body to hasten the hour of the collective realisation.
Surely if the earth were more responsive, this would not
have been necessary.
When I asked him to resuscitate he clearly answered :
"I have left this body purposely. I will not take it back.
I shall manifest again in the first supramental body
built in the supramental way".
408 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
From an article, "A Call from Pondicherry" by
The Mother came with us into the ante-room and
then for the first time declared : "He is fully conscious
within but is losing interest in Himself". Dr. Satya Sen
was restless as energetic treatment could not be instituted*
She .simply said : "It all depends on Him".
The Mother whispered, "As long as the supramental
Light does not pass away, the body will* not show any
signs of decomposition and it may be a day or it may
take more days". I whispered to her, "Where is the light
you speak of can I not see it ?" She smiled at me and
with infinite compassion put her hand on my head.
There he was with a luminous mantle of bluish
golden hue around Him.
The Mother said to me, "People do not know what
a tremendous sacrifice He has made for the world. About
a year ago, while I was discussing things, I remarked that
I felt like leaving this body of mine. He spoke out in a
very firm tone, "No, this can never be. If necessary for
this transformation I might go, you will have to fulfil
our Yoga of supramental descent and transformation/*
In my own foolish way I voiced my apprehension for
PASSING OF SRI AUROBINDO 409
Her health and the strain she put on her fragile frame.
She smiled at me and asked, "Do you think I get all
this energy from my frugal meals ? Of course not, one
can draw infinite energy from the universe when needed".
She also added, "No, I have no intention of leaving my
body for the present. I have yet a lot of things to do.
So far as I am concerned, it is nothing to me. I am in
constant contact with Sri Aurobindo."
I naively asked the Mother, why I was not allowed
to treat the Lord as I would have done in the routine
way, and I was called in. The Mother consoled me by
saying, "We wanted you to be here, not so much for
Extract from a record of talks with Sri Aurobindo
We must conserve the energy and use it in rising up to
higher life. I have faith in the truth of transformation of
life. I have complete faith that it will be achieved. The
truth of sexual life can be seen after the complete trans-
formation of the body also. I for one have put the sexual
side completely aside so that I may make this daring
attempt....! may not be able to do it completely and a
part may be left. But I shall be born again to complete
it. The way of reproduction may not be the same as m
410 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
From an article by Sri Aurobindo 'Divine
Body* in the year 1949
But yet there may be circumstances in which from
another standpoint, a voluntary creation of bodies for
souls that seek to enter the earth-life to help in the
creation and extension of the divine life on earth might
be found to be desirable. Then the necessity of a physical
procreation for this purpose could only be avoided if
new means of a supra-physical kind were evolved and
It should be possible and it is believed to be possible
for an object formed in this subtle physical to make a
transit from its subtlety into the state of gross Matter
directly by the intervention of an occult force and pro-
cess whether with or even without the assistance or
intervention of some gross material procedure. A soul
wishing to enter into a body or form for itself a body
and take part in a divine life upon earth might be assisted
to do so or even provided with such a form by this method
of direct transmutation without passing through birth
by the sex-process or undergoing any degradation.
AN OUTLINE OF INTEGRAL YOGA
WE are human beings, the highest kind of creatures in
this world, and we think that nothing can be higher than
man. Modern Science is the seal of man's capacity.
He can even destroy himself and this world, but cannot
create a new world. He has developed instruments of
immense possibility but only with the development of
the consciousness such instruments can be used with
advantage. To be free from constant dangers of conflict
and destruction the man of today has to grow inwardly
as well as outwardly.
In his present condition man lives in ignorance. He
does not know how he thinks and how he acts. He has
no true goal but wastes his whole life driven by passions
and endless desires. His life is full of miseries, sufferings,
disharmony, discords, disease and death. In fact, man
is an animal, a thinking and speaking animal but still
an animal in his instincts and habits. The creature of
water cannot dream of the creation on land. The animal
kingdom though on land cannot get the least idea of
man's capacities. So with man also. Man is a creature
of this world and he cannot know much of things other
than this world. However, he has a capacity in himself
to develop to the next stage of evolution because Nature
412 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
cannot stop with imperfect results and the present
humanity must evolve further till the final perfection
is obtained. With the final perfection, man's life will
be one of knowledge, love, beauty, harmony and joy ;
quite free from sufferings, miseries, disease and death.
Because we are creatures of this world, our con-
sciousness is always externalised and we look at things
and happenings from the outer surface, having no
knowledge whatsoever of the real causes and effects of
the different forces and influences of the subtle worlds
working behind them. We can see and feel only the
results on the material plane and nothing more. Our
senses have a very limited scope and they can give us
the knowledge of the things which are only materialised.
But, in fact, that is not all that we are. We have another
part in ourselves which is veiled by the external con-
sciousness, and we call that our Soul the part of the
Divinity within, which is ONE everywhere the True
As our senses give us the knowledge of external things
by directing our consciousness outwardly, in the same
way if we can direct our consciousness inwardly and
rise into the inner consciousness, we can know the
things of the higher worlds. We have to take an entire
turn in our consciousness and go beyond the limitations
of our physical senses, then only can we have the true
knowledge of this world and the worlds beyond and that
practice is called TOGA'.
All the systems of Yoga practised up to now had al-
AN OUTLINE OF INTEGRAL YOGA 413,
most the same goal and purpose. That is to raise the
consciousness to a stage of Bliss and fix it there. They
had not much to do with the life here and with this
world. They considered this world as an illusion and
not worth living in. Yoga was practised for personal
salvation and the world at large had no gain out of it.
People in the past could not achieve the highest summits
of realisation and did not know the purpose of this crea-
tion : hence they declared the world to be an illusion.
The Divine, though ONE, has two aspects one is
static and the other dynamic. The dynamic side of the
Divine is the energy or the creative side and the Maha
Shakti or the Divine Mother stands for it. People in
the past realised only the static aspect of the Divine and
did not know much of the dynamic side as it is much
more difficult to realise it. For this reason, the purpose
of the creation was not understood by them and they
declared the world to be futile and deceptive. That means
either the Divine was unable to make a perfect world
and he had no purpose in the creation or man has not
been able to understand the same. Sri Aurobindo's
Yoga gives the full experience of both the aspects of the
Divine, that is why he calls his Yoga the Integral Yoga
or the Perfect Yoga. Sri Aurobindo says the Divine is
real and His creation is bound to be real. It is only Sri
Aurobindo who has shown to the world the purpose of
the creation and has declared that the world is still in an
imperfect condition and passing through the transitory
period towards its perfection. His Yoga teaches one
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
not only to rise in consciousness but also to bring down
the lights and powers of the higher worlds into the lower
spheres of consciousness and join both the higher and
the lower ; then only the Life Divine can be created and
the kingdom of God established on earth.
The meaning of the word * Yoga', in its true sense is to
*join' join our external consciousness with our true
self the Divine within ourselves which is ONE every-
where. By the practice of Yoga, our consciousness
expands as wide as the universe and far beyond.
To practise Yoga it is indispensable to have a Guru
or a Master, who has a thorough knowledge of the path
and a capacity to guide and protect his disciples from all
the dangers of the unknown spheres arising either from
too powerful lights or from adverse beings of different
worlds. The Mother once said : "Be faithful to your
Guru whoever he is, he will lead you as far as you can
go. But if you are lucky enough to have the Divine as
your Guru then there will be no limit to your realisation".
At the juncture of some new evolution on earth, the
Divine takes the lead. He manifests in a form necessary
for the purpose and brings a new light with him that
will help the evolution and bring about a change in the
course of time. Hindus in India believe in such manifes-
tations and also believe that there have been ten mani-
festations since the beginning of the creation on earth
the first being the Matsya Avatara (the Fish), then
Kurma (the Tortoise), then Varaha (the Boar), then Nri-
simha (the Man-Lion) and so on. These manifestations
AN OUTLINE OF INTEGRAL YOGA 415
show the gradations of evolution on earth. The Fish
Manifestation brought a creation in water, the Tortoise
brought the first creation on land, the Boar Manifestation
brought a creation of developed land animals and the
Man-Lion brought a further evolution from animal
towards man and so on.
We need, today, a new manifestation which can put
the present humanity under a new cosmic power and
bring about a new evolution of the present man and
the world. Sri Aurobindo once said that the coming
evolution will be the final stage for this world. It will
be a world of perfect harmony, love, beauty, knowledge
and Ananda. The consciousness and the life of the
present man will be transformed and a new race will be
To effectuate the above result, a new higher power is
required to be established upon earth and made native to
this world. That power Sri Aurobindo calls the Supra-
mental Power or the Truth-Consciousness. That Supra-
mental power alone has the capacity to transform the
life of man and change the world conditions. Both the
Divine Mother and Sri Aurobindo have manifested
upon earth to bring about this new evolution and prepare
the necessary conditions on earth for the establishment
of -the Supramental Light. Unless the conditions are
created the new -Light cannot stay here permanently.
When divine manifestations take place, they have also
to pass through great difficulties and sufferings as a result
of oppositions of dark and anti-divine forces which have
416 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INTEGRAL YOGA
had a hold upon earth since the creation. Those dark
powers always oppose the new Lights because they do
not want to give up their grip on the earth and sometimes
their hostility even takes the form of war on earth, but in
spite of all obstructions the Divine Will succeeds at last.
For these reasons, to bring about a radical and collective
change, Sri Aurobindo had to take a voluntary decision
to leave his body in December 1950, and fight out certain
forces in the subtle world. When that conquest on the
subtle plane is made and the necessary conditions also
are prepared by the Mother in the world atmosphere,
Sri Aurobindo, with the help of the Mother, will manifest
in a physical form in a divine body without taking a normal
human birth. That will be the first supramental body in
this world built in the supramental way. Side by side
with the first effect of that new Light the Mother's physical
body will be transformed and perfected. It will be a fully
divinised and immortal body free from disease and
death, free from inertia, plastic and luminous with an
all-pervading consciousness, perfect knowledge and un-
limited powers. The influence of that Divine Manifesta-
tion will grow increasingly in the world and change
the world conditions and the present earthly life of man.
Those who will be ready to receive the new Light will
be profited greatly. This is the perfect Yoga for the new
evolution which transforms mind, life and body of man.
People in ignorance fall into discussions and say that
the Divine is everywhere and ask what the necessity is
for the manifestations. In reply it can be said that electri*
AN OUTLINE OF INTEGRAL YOGA 417
city is everywhere in the atmosphere, as all the scientists
declare, and it does work also in the world atmosphere
according to the cosmic law; yet, to make the electric
power effective for our material use, some conditions
are required to be created on the material plane such as
dynamos and generators etc. In the same way the Divine
also acts in the world atmosphere according to the cosmic
law. The Divine is still in a veiled form in this world and
has not yet manifested Himself in his full Glory. To es-
tablish new Powers and Lights in the world for the
evolutionary principles, the Divine has to take a physical
form from time to time till the final evolution is effected.
Such manifestations serve the purpose of generators and
dynamos on the material plane. The Mother herself has
said : "Since the beginning of the earth wherever and
whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray
of the Consciousness, I was there" It is the Overmind
that governs the earth at present and the higher gods
and goddesses belong to that plane of consciousness.
Supermind is much higher than Overmind. Sri Aurobindo
and the Mother have manifested from the Supramental
Plane : that is why their powers are much more creative
and effective on earth than any god or goddess known
to this world.
For the final stage of evolution the Divine will manifest
in His full Power in an unveiled form. We may hope
that the time is not very far now when Sri Aurobindo
will manifest in a divine body with his full Glory, remove
all tensions from the world-atmosphere and save the earth.
41 8 A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INT^JRAL YOGA
To begin their Yoga, the first necessities for man are
aspiration, faith, devotion, sincerity and rejection of
falsehood with a crowning goal of complete and unreserved
surrender of the whole being in all its parts mental,
vital and physical, to the Divine alone and to no other
influence of the lower Nature.
The more the surrender progresses the more concretely
the dynamic and conscious Force of the Divine Mother
works for and in the sadhaka and carries out
the purification and transformation of the whole
As the divine influence of Sri Aurobindo and the
Mother is well established in the whole world atmosphere,
the aspirant from any corner of the world can receive
the help and protection from them according to the
intensity and sincerity of his aspiration and can progress
gradually in spirituality.
By sincere aspiration, faith and devotion one can
progress in consciousness even at a distance, but for a
complete transformation down to the physical it is in-
evitable to come physically in direct contact with the
Masters of this Integral Yoga.
Spirituality is not morality but much higher. Morality
is based on human mental standards of good and evil
while spirituality is based on the Spirit or the Divine
Consciousness. To be one with the Divine Consciousness
and Bliss and to act on the physical plane as an "outflow
of the Divine's Will to surcharge the whole being with
the Supreme and possess all Knowledge, Anandi, Beauty,
AN OUTLINE OF INTEGRAL YOGA 419
Power, Love, Harmony and Immortality on the earth
itself, this is the goal of the Integral Yoga.
For a sincere sadhaka, it is necessary to be exceedingly
careful about his company and environments. You can
lose in a few minutes what it has taken you months to
gain. Contacts with hostile and undesirable persons
and even people of spiritual influence foreign to the
Integral Yoga, Holy Places, Temples and Churches
have an influence adverse to the working of this Yoga
and are a hindrance to progress.
ist June, 1954
Extracts taken from the following books
particularly and from other works of
the Master and the Mother.
i. The Mother
2. r Lights on Yoga
3. More Lights on Yoga
4. Bases of Yoga
5. The Yoga and Its Objects
6. The Riddle of this World
7. Elements of Yoga
8. Sri Aurobindo on Himself and on The Mother
9. Letters of Sri Aurobindo
10. The Synthesis of Yoga
11. The Words of the Mother
12. On Education
13. Prayers and Meditations of the Mother